Start ’em young! Stephanie Pope teaches some itty bitty blackbirds…

Fosse veteran Stephanie Pope (BIG DEAL, SWEET CHARITY) taught a master class to dancers of KMJ Jazz Company and Expressions Dance in North Carolina.  Aren’t these kids just the cutest little “blackbirds” you ever did see?

“Fosse/Verdon” Leans on Fosse Biography, Nicole Fosse for Accuracy

[from Variety.com]

5 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: Day 7

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“Fosse/Verdon” Leans on Fosse Biography, Nicole Fosse for Accuracy

The upcoming eight-episode series, starring Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams as his partner Gwen Verdon, is based on Sam Wasson’s “Fosse” biography and the input of Nicole Fosse, the pair’s daughter who acts as a producer for the show. But when asked if “Fosse/Verdon” reached out to anyone else depicted in the series (including Shirley MacClaine and Ann Reinking), especially after Olivia de Havilland sued over the portrayal of her on “Feud,” the creative team demurred, pointing to the extensive research and interviews that Wasson had originally done for the book.

“There’s also archival material and all sorts of other stuff to look at,” said executive producer Joel Fields, who most recently painstakingly fact-checked fact versus fiction on “The Americans.” “But our goal is to explore a relationship between [Fosse and Verdon] and to do it in an authentic way, and we are never looking to whip something up. So I don’t think that’s been an issue for us. It’s been easy to follow what the truth was as we see it and to try to let the drama flow out of that.”

Back at Broadway Dance Center

Broadway Dance Center will be hosting Fosse Master Classes throughout February.  Check out the schedule below and visit www.broadwaydancecenter.com to pre-register.

Sunday, February 3rd 1:30-4:30pm
with Michael McArthur
teaching “Steam Heat” from THE PAJAMA GAME

Sunday, February 10th 1:30-4:30pm
with Valarie Pettiford
teaching “Razzle Dazzle” from CHICAGO (1975)

Sunday, February 17th 12-3pm
with Valarie Pettiford
teaching “We Both Reached for the Gun” from CHICAGO (1975)

Sunday, February 24th 1:30-4:30pm
with Jane Lanier
teaching “The Aloof (Rich Man’s Frug)” from SWEET CHARITY (1986)

See you in class!

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 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.

 

This is our “Once-A-Year Day!”—Happy Fourth of July! The Pajama Game 1957

Happy Fourth of July!  Since many Americans will celebrate this holiday with a picnic in the park, here’s a fun clip of Bob Fosse’s “Once-A-Year Day” from the 1957 film version of “The Pajama Game.”

In a Dance Magazine article (1957), Carol Haney described the “Once-A-Year Day” choreography—both the choreography of the movement and of the camera: “For a scene like the big “Once-A-Year Day” number—the picnic dance which we did on location in a park—Bob Fosse re-choreographed his original dance completely to involve more people and all the space you can cover with a camera. And Stanley Donen, who knows about dance, photographed it in wonderful travelling shots that captured all of the dynamism of the movements and at the same time provided enough air around the performers to make their movements significant. You see, you just can’t set up your camera and photograph a dance…You have to know just where to place it, which angle will make it exciting and alive.”

Wright State University performs “Rich Man’s Frug”

The Verdon Fosse Legacy was invited to Wright State University for a week-long immersion of Fosse technique and repertoire with their dance and musical theatre departments.  Veteran Fosse dance and one of the Legacy’s leading reconstructeurs, Lloyd Culbreath, and his assistant, Marissa Calabrese, taught daily master classes, participated in a talk-back, and reconstructed “Rich Man’s Frug” from SWEET CHARITY for the department’s spring concert.

“The program, staff, and facility were all fantastic.  And the students were incredibly talented.  It was an honor and an absolute pleasure to work with such talent and professionalism.”—Lloyd Culbreath

The Verdon Fosse Legacy would like to extend a special thank you to The Musical Theatre Initiative at Wright State University and it’s director, Joe Deer, for making this collaboration possible.  For more information about Wright State University, visit www.wright.edu.   All inquiries regarding choreographic reconstructions of Bob Fosse’s work can be directed to theverdonfosselegacyllc@gmail.com.

*All photos by Scott Robbins

Steps on Broadway Conservatory students perform “I Wanna Be A Dancin’ Man”

The Verdon Fosse Legacy was invited to reconstruct “I Wanna Be A Dancin’ Man” on the pre-professional students of the Steps on Broadway Conservatory Program. Veteran Fosse dancer and Legacy-sanctioned reconstructeur, Lloyd Culbreath, taught the piece with the help of his assistant, Marissa Calabrese, and vocal coach, Jan Horvath (also a veteran Fosse performer).

Steps on Broadway Conservatory performs “I Wanna Be A Dancin’ Man” (photo: Eduardo Patino)

Bob Fosse choreographed “I Wanna Be A Dancin’ Man” as a tribute to his own personal dance icon, Fred Astaire. As the Act II opener from 1978’s musical revue, DANCIN,’ “Dancin’ Man” honors the charm and elegance of Astaire and celebrates the golden age of the Hollywood musical. But the ensemble production number also highlights a poignant, universal sentiment that lies at the heart of every dancer—despite all of the sacrifices (physical, emotional, professional), the dancer loves to Continue reading