HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB FOSSE!

Celebrate today with us the birth of an American dance theatre and film performance icon

Robert Louis “Bob” Fosse born June 23, 1927

Pictured below are six a never before seen personally kept photographs from the Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC archives featuring Bob Fosse’s childhood from age 6 to about 14 years. Shown growing-up in Chicago, including early stage and dance eduction training.

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Grade school snapshot photograph of “Bobbie Fosse” having “age 6 yrs” longhand penciled verso. According to sister Marianne Fosse, their mother seemed to remember this photo was taken the day her husband went to receive his Crossing Guard or school Safety Monitor belt, directing pedestrians. Slight folds, small edge tears, and surface wear or scratches present, measuring 3 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches overall. Continue reading

FOSSE heads to Holland! Valarie Pettiford teaches LMIPA students in Amsterdam

This month our very own Valarie Pettiford (Big Deal, DANCIN’, Fosse) traveled to Amsterdam to teach at the Lucia Marthas Institute for the Performing Arts. LMIPA is a university-like program that offers Bachelor’s Degrees, Intermediate Degrees, and preliminary courses in the performing arts: acting, singing, and dancing.

Earlier this year, Sigrid van Coillie visited New York with some of her LMIPA students and took a “Sing! Sing! Sing!” master class with Valarie. “Even in that first class,” Val remembers, “the students knew all about Bob and were familiar with his technique and style. They were overjoyed to have me really ‘work’ them!” says Valarie. After such a great experience, Sigrid invited Val to teach about twenty of LMIPA’s 4th year students for their graduation performance concert.

Valarie taught a medley of “Crunchy Granola Suite” (DANCIN’), “Dancin’ Man” (DANCIN’), and “I Gotcha” (“Liza with a Z”). “The number was only allotted a certain number of minutes,” Val explains, “so I was forced to cut down some of the choreography—which pains me to do. But the [Verdon Fosse] Estate granted me the liberty to abridge some of the numbers and also add more dancers to the piece.”

“This was a great experience for me, as well,” notes Val. “I liken it to when I was the dance captain for Big Deal. It’s a lot of responsibility to know everyone’s counts and movements and positions on stage. I had the time of my life teaching these incredible students. They were so willing and present. This experience reminded me why I’m in showbiz, why I love to teach, and why I’m so honored to pass on the torch of Fosse choreography.”

“It’s actually no surprise to me that Fosse is so popular abroad,” admits Val. “Fosse choreography is magical both to watch and to dance! The man was fierce and there was no one like him. Performing that work changes you as a human. It excites you and touches your core. Everybody ‘gets’ it and can relate to it for some reason. Fosse was a force to be reckoned with and I think that’s why he remains so popular all over the world.”

Thank you to Lucia Marthas, Sigrid Van Coillie, James Van Der Velden, Rich Ascroft, Jessica Schots, Roemjana, Steve Jones, Lloyd Culbreath, Valarie Pettiford, Nicole Fosse, and everyone else who made this possible.


10845983_10205769206483827_6421366582678102530_n 11390399_10205774885905809_4023365023966680190_nIf you are interested in having a Verdon Fosse Estate-sanctioned teacher come to your dance school or college, please e-mail theverdonfosselegacyllc@gmail.com.

Happy 81st Birthday Shirley MacLaine! Charity Hope Valentine “Sweet Charity” film, 1968

Today we send heartfelt happy birthday wishes to Sweet Charity taxi dancer star and Academy Award winning film actress friend Shirley MacLaine born April 24, 1934.

ShirleyMasterAsSweetCFBShirley MacLaine in title role costume as Charity Hope Valentine starring in Bob Fosses celebrated Hollywood roadshow Technicolor musical film Sweet Charity.  Having left shoulder applied tattoo of single arrowed heart reading the name of her no good boyfriend “CHARLIE” Continue reading

Gwen Verdon “Upending” Paul Taylor Dance Company with Mikhail Baryshnikov & Rudolf Nureyev, 1981

In celebration of the 34 year performance anniversary, pictured are three original black and white news print press proof photographs with verso publication date “April 14 1981″ having corresponding caption affixed reading:

NEW YORK: Ballet superstars MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV and RUDOLF NUREYEV give a “lift” to musical comedy star GWEN VERDON as they practice for a guest appearance in a gala benefit for the Paul Taylor Dance Company at City Center 4/14. It is the first time the two dancers, preeminent in their discipline, have performed together.

GwenUpArmsOut

NureyevBaryshnikovGwen1981v Continue reading

Gwen Verdon candid photographs at home, 1960s

Pictured below are three candid black and white photographs of four time Tony award winner Gwen Verdon at her New York City East Side and 91 Central Park West homes.  Gwen Verdon is featured enjoying the company of her two adored white deaf tabby cats, standing outside her gated organic gardening terrace, and window cabinet seated between a figurative pair of Napoleonic soldier cast candlesticks.

GwenWhiteCatsPhotographer emboss stamped lower right reading “GEORGE LAKE N.Y.C.” measuring 8 by 10 inches overall.

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March (Mambo) Madness!

ERP!  It was a mambo-filled week at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center as dancers learned “Who’s Got the Pain?” from Damn Yankees.  Valarie Pettiford and Lloyd Culbreath helped reconstruct the dynamic duet—performed by Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon in the film version of the Tony-winning musical.

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February Master Class was Dancin’ Dancin’ Dancin’

Thank you to the small but mighty group of dancers who braved the cold and danced with us this month in our February Master Class.  The dancers learned “Dancin’ Man” (a duet version that Bob and Gwen performed on the Gary Moore show in 1958), revisited “Trumpet Solo” from Dancin’, and even tackled a bit of “Crunchy Granola Suite” from Dancin’ for good measure.

Morning class with Lloyd Culbreath and Dana Moore

Morning class with Lloyd Culbreath and Dana Moore

Afternoon class with Lloyd Culbreath and Dana Moore

Afternoon class with Lloyd Culbreath and Dana Moore

We hope you’ll join us for our next week of classes March 16-20.  E-mail theverdonfosselegacyllc@gmail.com for more information.

“All That Jazz” 35th Anniversary Screening at the Dance on Camera Festival

On February 1st All That Jazz was screened as part of the Dance on Camera Film Festival 2015 a co-presentation with Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
 
The film screening included a panel discussion with assistant choreographer Gene Foote, Nicole Fosse, and two dancers from the film: Eileen Casey and Candace Tovar.

All-That-Jazz-Lrg“Bob Fosse’s film both celebrates show business and strips it of its glitter, glamour and all that jazz.” Winner of 4 Academy Awards and voted a Palm d’Or (Best Picture) at the Cannes Film Festival 1980 ROY SCHEIDER in

ALL THAT JAZZ

“It’s showtime, folks!” That’s the refrain of anxiety-ridden and unhealthfully driven choreographer Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) at the center of Fosse’s semi-autobiographical musical extravaganza, also featuring star turns by Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, and Jessica Lange. Scheider is never less than captivating in his portrayal of Gideon, a complicated figure not so secretly patterned after Fosse himself. Long out of circulation, the Oscar-winning tour de force is back on the big screen after a 15-year 4K digital restoration by The Film Foundation.

Gene Foote, Eileen Casey, Nicole Fosse, and Candace Tovar photo credit: Dance Films Association

Gene Foote, Eileen Casey, Nicole Fosse, and Candace Tovar
photo credit: Dance Films Association

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