Bob Fosse Master Class Series featured on PIX11

The Verdon Fosse Legacy keeps the work of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon alive for a new generation of dancers

NEW YORK—She is one of the best to grace a Broadway stage.

And his choreography may be the most recognizable in theater history.

Together, their impact is immeasurable.

It’s why Nicole Fosse has made it her mission to make sure her parents’ work is kept alive, and preserved exactly how it was taught.

“Over the last few decades, the Fosse work that has been out in the world, it’s morphed over time and it’s lost its multifacetedness, People were putting on Bowler hats, doing jazz hands and thrusting their pelvis forward and I said, that’s not my father’s choreography,” Nicole Fosse said.

As artistic director, she’s brought in reconstructeurs who worked closely with her parents to work with a new generation of dancers.

“I come from the ballet world and so I was utilizing that format of how it’s passed on from generation to generation. It’s a whole work ethic, it’s the stories of how it was created, why it was created,” Fosse added.

It’s that repetition, fixing it, little details, living it, practicing it. That’s what takes you to the level of being the Fosse dancer. And I’m so grateful that I get to pass that on in some way,” reconstructeur Dana Moore explained.

Something that’s not lost on these aspiring artists.

“You’re not gonna get hands on training like this anywhere else. Where we spend three to four hours a day working on one piece, dissecting it, to the point where you’re doing everything exactly as it’s intended.” one dancer said.

“Bye Bye Blackbird” with Steps on Broadway’s Summer Theatre Dance Intensive

Verdon Fosse Legacy reconstructeur, Lloyd Culbreath, set “Bye, Bye Blackbird” on the dancers of Steps on Broadway’s first ever Summer Theatre Dance Intensive.   The piece, originally from “Liza with a Z,” was performed at the contemporary dance showcase in Bryant Park and at the students’ final concert at Steps.

“The program had many international students,” said Culbreath. “It was exciting to bring Mr. Fosse’s work to young people from around the globe.”

https://youtu.be/xVQ3mO1uWbI

 

Lucas Segovia brings “Percussion 4” to Argentina

Lucas Segovia (Joffrey Ballet, An American in Paris) trained extensively with Verdon Fosse Legacy reconstructeur, Lloyd Culbreath, on “Percussion 4,” an incredibly technical and athletic ballet solo from DANCIN’.  “It’s not often that you run across a talented ballet dancer who has such a feel for jazz and theatre dance,” remarked Culbreath. Segovia performed the solo at a number of benefit performances in Argentina.

“Take Off (to Amsterdam) with Us”

Verdon Fosse Legacy reconstructeur, Lloyd Culbreath, recently traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands to work with students at the Lucia Marthas Institute for Performing Arts.  Lloyd set “Take Off with Us” from the film, “All That Jazz.”

Of the experience, Culbreath noted, “What a pleasure it was to work with such multi-talented students in such an artistically stimulating environment.”

This was The Verdon Fosse Legacy’s 5th time working with students from Lucia Marthas.

photo: Sjoerd Derine

To organize a Fosse choreographic reconstruction or master class at your school or studio, contact theverdonfosselegacyllc@gmail.com

“Lola” at Bay Street Theater gala

Sarah Bowden performed “Whatever Lola Wants” for Bay Street Theater’s 27th Annual Summer Gala earlier this summer. James Kinney (FOSSE) and Alex Nordin reconstructed the iconic piece with additional coaching provided by Nicole Fosse.

photo: Barry Gordin

Fosse/Verdon miniseries coming to FOX

FOX television recently released that an untitled Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon miniseries is in the works.  Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams are set to star in the leading roles and the creative team is comprised of Lin-Manuel Miranda (producer), Tommy Kail (director), Steven Levenson (book), and Andy Blankenbuehler (choreographer).

“Based on Fosse, the biography written by Sam Wasson, the limited series tells the story of the singular romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. He was a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographers and directors, she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. (you can watch one of their classic dance numbers under the post.) Together they changed the face of American entertainment – at a perilous cost. Featuring Fosse’s choreography, the series explores the hidden corners of show business, the price of pursuing greatness, and the suffering inflicted in the name of art” (Nelly Andreeva for Deadline).

Nicole Fosse, artistic director of The Verdon Fosse Legacy and co-producer of this upcoming project, remarked, “My mother and father have one of the greatest love stories ever known.  They were extremely complex people with an indestructible bond, loyalty, and trust that endured both fantasy and reality. Finally, we have a creative team with the talent and wisdom to tell the story.”

LaDuca honors Gwen Verdon with limited edition shoe

To honor the late, great Gwen Verdon, LaDuca Shoes is launching a limited-edition dance shoe called the “Gwen.”  Named after Broadway legend, Gwen Verdon, the stunning new LaDuca boot features a 3-inch heel, a leather and suede dual finish, a medial zipper, and a soft, flexible sole.  Only 24 pairs of this beautiful shoe will be available at the LaDuca summer sale July 28-29. Don’t miss the chance to get yourself a pair in homage to one of Broadway’s leading legends, Gwen Verdon.

photo: Mallory Pettee

Pictured above is Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon’s partner in crime from the original production of CHICAGO, the first to don the new “Gwen” shoe.

Mimi Quillin reconstructs SWEET CHARITY for Broadway Backwards

Mimi Quillin (who served as dance captain and assistant to Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon for the 1986 Broadway revival of SWEET CHARITY) reconstructed “If My Friends Could See Me Now” for Broadway Backwards last Monday. The 13th annual edition of the show, which celebrates the LGBTQ community through gender-reversed renditions of beloved showtunes, raised an incredible $680,273 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City. The show was produced by Broadway Cares.

Jay Armstrong Johnson and Mimi Quillin in rehearsal

Jay Armstrong Johnson in the arms of John Glover

Jay Armstrong Johnson

“When On the Town’s Jay Armstrong Johnson unexpectedly found himself in the apartment of Tony Award winner John Glover, Johnson excitedly launched into “If My Friends Could See Me Now” from Sweet Charity. Johnson impressively performed the original, iconic Bob Fosse choreography, recreated for Johnson by Mimi Quillin.”—BC/EFA

For more information on Broadway Backwards and all of the wonderful events and programs of BC/EFA, visit www.broadwaycares.org.

*Photos by Johnathan Tichler

Dancers over 40 celebrates 40 years of DANCIN’

On Monday, March 26th Dancers over 40 hosted a celebration of the 40th-anniversary of Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’.  The sold-out event included a panel discussion by the original Broadway cast, a second panel comprised many of the show’s replacement performers, guest appearances by other Fosse veterans (host Bebe Neuwirth, surprise guest Ben Vereen, etc.), the LaDuca Lifetime Achievement Award (to Ann Reinking), and a magical performance of “I Wanna Be A Dancin’ Man.”  Thank you to all who participated and came out to celebrate this incredible production and the dancers who brought the choreography to life. (For more photos, visit the Dancers over 40 Facebook page)

Michael Kubala, James Horvath, Eileen Casey, Moderator Kevin Winkler, Lloyd Culbreath,
Valerie-Jean Miller, Clif de Raita

Wayne Ciliento, Moderator Ken Bloom, Ann Reinking, Kathryn Doby, Gail Benedict, William
Whitener

Gail Benedict, Lloyd Culbreath, Sandahl Bergman, Eileen Casey, James Horvath, Wayne
Cilento, Clif de Raita, Valerie-Jean Miller, Christine Colby, Michael Kubala, Jill Cook (not
Pictured: Ann Reinking, Richard Korthaze, William Whitener)

Phil LaDuca and Ann Reinking

Bebe Neuwirth, Nicole Fosse, and John Sefakis