Our first master class kicked off the new year with great dancing and great energy. Hinton Battle and Ann Reinking led the classes and were assisted by Lloyd Culbreath, Valarie Pettiford, and Dana Moore. The Verdon Fosse Legacy would like to thank all of the talented dancers who joined us this past week. We hope you will come dance with us next month (the week of February 16th) for another exciting reconstruction of Bob Fosse’s choreography. To join our e-mail blast contact email@example.com.
It’s the middle of a very exciting week here with The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC. Both our men’s and women’s classes are learning two of Bob Fosse’s most technically difficult and musically driven solos—”Percussion 4″ and “Trumpet Solo,” respectively—with the guidance of Hinton Battle and Ann Reinking.
Yesterday morning began with a ballet warm-up led by Nicole Fosse herself. In the boy’s class, Gary Chryst (who also danced “Percussion 4″ in DANCIN’) joined in on the reconstruction process, helping remember subtle nuances to the choreography. And more special guests (such as Bebe Neuwirth and Eileen Casey) came to observe the afternoon session.
We’ve got two more days of DANCIN’ left this week, so stay tuned for more photos and recaps. Also be sure to follow us on social media for even more updates and exclusive photos.
Today celebrate with us the birthday of one of America’s brightest stars, Gwen Verdon born January 13, 1925.
Age 28 Gwen Verdon as Claudine in Can Can
Pictured in full Eve costume is Gwen Verdon during her notorious Act One Tony Award winning Can Can Broadway performance as saucy laundress Claudine in “The Garden of Eden” ballet, music and lyrics by Cole Porter with choreography by Michael Kidd. Continue reading
Tony and Olivier Award-winning dancer and choreographer, Ann Reinking appeared on Broadway in Coco, Wild and Wonderful, Over Here! (Theatre World Award), Goodtime Charley, A Chorus Line, and Tommy Tune Tonite!. Her credits for Mr. Fosse include Pippin, Chicago, DANCIN’, and Sweet Charity. She also starred in feature films such as Annie, Micki + Maude, and Fosse’s All That Jazz. Ms. Reinking later revived Chicago in 1996, recently celebrated as the longest running American musical. In 1998 Ms. Reinking co-created, co-directed, co-choreographed, and starred in the musical revue, Fosse. Aside from performing, Ms. Reinking has served as choreographer for Broadway, concerts, and TV, founded the professional training program: the Broadway Theater Project, and advocated for the National Marfan Foundation.
Three-time Tony Award-winner, Hinton Battle made his Broadway debut at age fifteen starring in the role of the Scarecrow in The Wiz. He went on to perform in many other Broadway shows like Sophisticated Ladies, Ragtime, Dreamgirls, The Tap Dance Kid, Miss Saigon, Chicago, and Fosse’s DANCIN’ and tour of Sweet Charity. Mr. Battle’s on-screen credits include dancing for The Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary, choreographing and starring as Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson in ABC/Disney’s Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story, playing the role of Wayne opposite Jamie Foxx in the movie musical Dreamgirls, and working as associate choreographer on the 65th and 66th Annual Academy Awards with Debbie Allen, just to name a few. He has directed and choreographed for stage, TV, and film, and recently returned from sold-out performances of Hinton Battle’s American Variety Bang II and will return to Japan in 2015 to launch the Hinton Battle Dance Academy and to write, direct, choreograph, and star in his third American Varity Bang.
The Verdon Fosse Legacy, LLC would like to congratulate the honorees of the 2014 Dancers over 40 Legacy Awards—especially former Fosse dancers: Eileen Casey, Carolyn Kirsch, and Penny Worth. Dancer over 40 is a non-profit organization with a mission to celebrate and preserve the lives and legacies of dancers. In the annual Legacy Awards, DO40 President John Sefakis states, “We choose to honor our own, and in doing so, we honor each other and our profession.”
Congratulations to all five Legacy Award honorees and thank you, Dancers over 40, for recognizing their involvement and influence in the dance community.
It is with sore necks and happy hearts that we ended our November master class last Friday. Lloyd Culbreath and Valarie Pettiford taught Fosse’s iconic “I Gotcha” trio from the Emmy Award-winning “Liza with a Z.”
Join us for The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC’s next Master Class November 17th-21st from 10:30am-12:30pm at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. We’ll be reconstructing “I Gotcha” from the Emmy Award-winning “Liza with a Z.” Learn this original repertoire from Fosse veterans Valarie Pettiford (DANCIN’, Big Deal, Chicago, Fosse—Tony nominated) and Lloyd Culbreath (DANCIN’, Sweet Charity, Big Deal). All levels of dance and/or Fosse experience welcome. Continue reading
Last week a group of Fosse students reconstructed “Streets of Laredo,” a five-part, eight-minute comedic ballet satirizing the rough, yet romantic American West: cowboys, saloon girls, hoedowns, bar fights, and, of course, a happy ending where the good guy comes out on top (quite the contrast to many of Fosse’s later more realistic works such as Sweet Charity and “All That Jazz”). Continue reading
It was another amazing week of dancing as both our master classes tackled “Sing! Sing! Sing!” from Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. Dancin’ opened on Broadway in 1978 as a musical revue—a celebration of emotion and movement. With numbers including “Sing! Sing! Sing!” “Crunchy Granola Suite,” and “I Wanna Be a Dancin’ Man,” it’s no surprise Bob Fosse scored the Tony for Best Choreography. Continue reading