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.

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.”

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

Dancers Over 40 Presents The 40th Anniversary and Reunion of Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’

DANCIN’ opened on Broadway on March 27, 1978, and ran a very successful four years, and was Bob Fosse’s only all-dancing and all-singing musical. To mark this historic event, Dancers Over 40 will assemble a spectacular “once-in-a-lifetime” panel of original cast members for the 40th anniversary (almost exactly to the day of their 1978 debut) on March 26, 2018, at St. Luke’s Theater.

The anniversary celebration will feature video clips as well as live performances from DANCIN’ (Percussion 1 & 3, with assistance from the Verdon/Fosse Legacy). Celebrating with us will be original cast members Gail Benedict, Sandahl Bergman, Wayne Cilento, Christine Colby, Jill Cook, Linda Haberman, Rickard Korthaze, Ann Reinking, William Whitener and Fosse DANCIN’ assistant and long-time DO40 member, Kathryn Doby. There will be two panels, the first being the reunion with original cast members, moderated by author, theater historian – and now a documentary filmmaker – Ken Bloom (Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of all Time and the upcoming documentary on Gwen Verdon). The second panel will be hosted by Kevin Winkler and include cast replacements from DANCIN’ and other Fosse dancers, including Eileen Casey, Dana Moore, Lloyd Culbreath and Diana Laurenson. Also, mention must be made of those talents we have lost, including DO40 founding member John Mineo, as well as Rene Ceballos, Chris Chadman, Ed Love and Charles Ward.

Click here for ticket information.

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Dancers Over 40 is an all-volunteer, membership-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to preserving the history, legacy, and lives of our mature creative community while sharing the knowledge with the younger generation, particularly dancers just beginning their careers.

Candy Brown on the mission of The Verdon Fosse Legacy

The mission of The Verdon Fosse Legacy is to promote, protect, and preserve the artistic and intellectual property of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon.  Here’s a snippet of Fosse dancer, Candy Brown, sharing how she feels Artistic Director, Nicole Fosse, is keeping this mission statement alive.

 

All That Jazz in Bryant Park

On Monday, August 7th Bryant Park hosted an outdoor film screening of Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz” as part of HBO’s Summer Film Series.  Despite the gloomy weather, the screening had a great turnout and film fans—umbrellas in hand—crowded around the park lawn to watch the legendary movie on the big screen.

It’s showtime, folks!” Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) is a workaholic Broadway director and choreographer. He is also a womanizer, a heavy drinker, a chain smoker and frequent pill popper. Bob Fosse directed this jazzy, thinly-veiled autobiographical film showcasing his very own personal demons. Not surprisingly, Gideon (like Fosse) eventually finds himself in a life-or-death struggle as he goes under the knife for open-heart surgery. Nominated for nine Oscars, All That Jazz won four (Score, Art Direction, Costumes, Editing). If you can survive it, there’s no business-like show business. (1979) 123 MIN. (R) (FOX)

Congratulations Jessica Lange! Lead Actress Emmy nomination “Feud: Bette and Joan”

Congratulations Jessica Lange on your Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Emmy nomination. Feud: Bette and Joan

A revered actress and three-time Emmy winner, Jessica Lange was perhaps a shoo-in for this year’s crop of nominees. After portraying Joan Crawford in Ryan Murphy’s miniseries “Feud: Bette and Joan,” Lange earned her eighth Emmy nod, and she will be competing against co-star Susan Sarandan in the lead actress in a drama category.

Published New York Times, March 1978: Dancin’ king is the toast of Broadway / Director Bob Fosse was jumping with joy last night at Tavern on the Green. He caressed his favorite lady, Jessica Lange, and wore a broad smile after his new musical “Dancin'” won rave reviews. Our own Clive Barnes called it “tremendous” and “fantastic.” 

Published NY Daily News, Monday, February 1, 1960: The Stars at Night. Gwen Verdon, Reed Dawson and Joan Crawford discuss program for variety show and ball to be held night of April 3 for beinfit of the new Children’s Clinic of the Postgraduate Center of Psychotherapy, 218 E. 70th St. Dawson is chairman of trustees of the Center.  Both Gwen and Joan will officiate at the affair.