* (...) a song about the magic of movement, the wonder of simply being together in dark times, living in and for the moment, "Dancing in the Dark" (...)
Paradoxically, the Depression also left us with the most buoyant, most effervescent popular culture of the twentieth century. Screwball comedies, dance films choreographed by by Astaire or Busby Berkley, folk ballets by Aaron Copland, crackerjack performances by Cary Grant and a legion of other young stars, swing music by Duke Ellington and other maestros of vastly popular big bands, or the new, streamlined consumer products by Deco designers -
all this offered wit, energy, class style, and movement
(above all, movement)
to people whose lives were stagnant, fearful, deprived of hope, people who often took to the road but really had nowhere to go. "Just going," one of them told an interviewer who asked about his destination. As * is one of the motifs echoing through this book.
Morris Dickstein, Dancing in the Dark: a Cultural History of the Great Depression (2009)