“The Marching Arts” Documentary

A photo of Evan Rice.
Full-length documentary showcases the history and importance of the marching arts from before 1600 A.D. to modern times.

What do ice skating, fencing, ballet, flag throwing, and military drill have in common? They all share drill characteristics and were part of the evolution of the marching arts.

The two-and-a-half-hour documentary, “The Marching Arts: Conventions and Choreology of Historical Choreographed Marching,” describes the advancement of the marching arts, going back before 1600 A.D. when humans executed their first drill moves—processioning around the borders of communities—to modern marching techniques and shows from today’s drum corps. The marching arts include bugling, rudimental drumming, flag, rifle, dance, military drill, and modern-day marching shows.

The documentary walks viewers through the importance of the marching arts, from its entertainment value to its significance in saving civilizations.

“I wanted to help people understand and appreciate the fascinating and important things the marching arts gave to civilization,” says producer, writer and narrator S. Evan Rice. “If we’re going to study and practice the marching arts enough to perform them well, we need to spend time figuring out how both marching and its accompanying arts developed and shaped human history.”

Rice says he hopes marching organizations will watch the documentary and revisit the classical marching characteristics.

“Since the latter 20th century, I’ve had some concerns that marching organizations are too often emphasizing the athletic aspect of marching over its upright choreography when we’ve only scratched the surface of the language,” he says.

Published in February 2019, the documentary is available on YouTube to watch for free at youtube.com/watch?v=C7xQGPsIFNc.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Rice.

About author

Nicole Roberts

Nicole Roberts is the city hall reporter for the News Tribune in Jefferson City, Missouri. She graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in print/internet journalism and a minor in psychology. She played clarinet in the Missouri State Pride Band and in her high school’s marching band.

A Year of Change

The July/August 2008 issue marks the one-year anniversary of Halftime Magazine. In one year, a lot has happened for the country, for the marching arts ...