"Laurey's Dream"
This routine comes in for a lot of criticism.  Some viewers question why Laurey and Curly (Shirley
Jones and Gordon MacRae) were replaced by dream versions (James Mitchell and Bambi Linn) for
the dancing.  Many thought the whole thing was out of place (too arty) while quite a few thought it
was too long.   I guess I must be weird, for I liked this segment for the saloon scene and especially
for the quirky modern dance segment featuring our girls and another ensemble dancer.  Liz, as
usual, gets a little extra attention here as she presents Dream Curly with a bouquet of flowers and
rewards his smile of thanks with a heart-melter of her own.  Our girls exhibit some spanking fine
synchronization here, but again (a broken record, I know), Liz adds that extra flair.  However, I
will own up to going to fast-forward after the saloon dances and in doing so, almost missed another
focus on Liz, even if at a distance.
Performing "Grand Jetes" that would
turn Rudolf Nureyev green with envy,
our girls introduce their presence
with perfect synchronization
and exquisite ballet-type extention,
setting the pace for the following
ensemble.
There are two vignettes to this routine.  In the first, our girls enter stage right,
but almost immediately emphasis shifts to Liz as she tries to deliver a bouquet to her hero.
Her first attempt,
but Dream Curly is
otherwise engaged.  
Jane "assumes the
position" where she
will stay while the
camera focuses on Liz's
efforts.
Hey, Dream Laurey,
Special Delivery!
She finally gets through and returns Dream Curly's smile with a winsome one of her own
while Jane envies from afar.
"It doesn't get much better
than this!" thrills Liz
while Dream Curly
seems to be telling
Dream Laurey,
"See what she gave me?"
(Not a good move.)
In the second vignette,
it appears that
Agnes de Mille ran through her
entire repertoire of routines
for this movie.
A veil has just dropped down
on the wedding party,
and when the crowd
moves to one side,
they reveal our girls
and an uncredited dancer,
who begin
a funky puppet-like dance
where Liz yet again
outshines them all
by leading off with a
higher-than-the-rest side step . . .
. . . then a little crisp heel-clicking . . .
. . . really puts her seal
on this routine
with an effortless 110-degree
side kick, complete with
another example
of that delicate extension.
She OWNS this routine.
The finale, where the girls point
to the oncoming male dancers.
Note how Liz eagerly leans into the direction
while the others merely point.
Talent and energy
just ooze from this girl's pores.
. . . followed by an "I can fly!" outburst
exhibiting that exquisite extension
again.  Jane also does a nice job
n that department.
Liz was perfect for "Peter Pan"
and would have made
Mary Martin weep with envy.
Her spunky rendition . . .