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

A nod to our Verdon Fosse Dance Reconstructeurs. . .

Through the Bob Fosse Master Class Series, Legacy-sanctioned reconstructeurs teach style, technique, and work ethic to students at dance studios and colleges across the United States and the world.  Our goal is to reconstruct—rather than revive, restage, or re-imagine—Bob Fosse’s choreography with the original intent and integrity.

This month, we’re honoring four of the Legacy’s core reconstructeurs: Lloyd Culbreath, Dana Moore, Valarie Pettiford, and Mimi Quillin.

Lloyd Culbreath Broadway/national tour credits include DANCIN’, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, THE TAP DANCE KID, BIG DEAL, SWEET CHARITY, HONKY TONK NIGHTS, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, GUYS AND DOLLS, ANYTHING GOES, ON THE TOWN (Assistant Choreographer), MAN OF LA MANCHA (Assistant Choreographer), CHICAGO (Dance Captain) and CHITA RIVERA: THE DANCER’S LIFE. Lloyd teaches at the June Claire Dance Center of Long Island.

Dana Moore Broadway/national tour credits include A CHORUS LINE, SWEET CHARITY, DANCIN’, ON YOUR TOES, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, HOW TO SUCCEED…, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, DANGEROUS GAMES, SUGAR BABIES, COPPERFIELD, CHICAGO, FOSSE, and FALSETTOS.  Film credits include The Producers: the Movie Musical, Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You, and the PBS special of FOSSE. Dana is a Musical Theatre faculty member at Marymount Manhattan College and teaches Theatre Dance at Steps on Broadway.

Valarie Pettiford Broadway/national tour credits include: SOPHISTICATED LADIES, BIG DEAL, DANCIN’, SWEET CHARITY, GRIND, WEST SIDE STORY, SHOWBOAT, CHICAGO, and FOSSE (Tony, Drama League, and Outer Critics nominee). Recent TV credits include “Half and Half” (3 NAACP Image nominations), “Being Mary Jane,” “Black-ish,” “True Blood,” “Born Again Virgin,” “Treme,” “Criminal Minds,” “CSI,” and “The Blacklist.” Film credits include “Jumping the Broom,” “Glitter,” and “Stomp the Yard.” Valarie is an NAACP Winner for best actress in the LA production of Michael John La Chuisa’s THE WILD PARTY as Queenie. She is a Bistro winner for the Cabaret Debut at the Metropolitan Room. She can be seen touring with her sold-out one women show around the country and has two CDs available on iTunes.

Mimi Quillin Broadway/national tour credits include the 1986 revival of SWEET CHARITY (Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain), RAGTIME, and AIN’T BROADWAY GRAND. She recently won “Best Production” at the 2016 United Solo Festival for her one-woman show, “Call Fosse at the Minskoff.” Mimi continues to teach and choreograph for dance companies, theatres, and colleges across the country.

Request our reconstructeurs to teach at your university or studio or to speak at your event by e-mailing theverdonfosselegacy@gmail.com.

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.

Broadway World Interviews Lloyd Culbreath and Valarie Pettiford

broadwayworld_1331576590_600by Mary Callahan

Broadway World sat down with Broadway veterans, Lloyd Culbreath (DANCIN;’ BIG DEAL; SOPHISTICATED LADIES; THE TAP DANCE KID; HONKY TONK NIGHTS; ANYTHING GOES; GUYS AND DOLLS; CHITA RIVERA: THE DANCER’S LIFE; NO STRINGS, Encores; HOUSE OF FLOWERS, Encores; CARNIVAL, Encores; PROMISES, PROMISES, Encores; MAN OF LA MANCHA, Asst. Choreo.; ON THE TOWN, Asst. Choreo.) and Valarie Pettiford (TV/Film actress; CHICAGO, as Velma, London with Chita Rivera; SHOW BOAT Revival Tour, Julie; 30th Anniversary Tour of WEST SIDE STORY, Anita; SOPHISTICATED LADIES; GRIND; BIG DEAL; FOSSE, Tony Nominee), to discuss their efforts to preserve Bob Fosse’s legendary choreography for the next generation of dancers.  The pair held an exclusive Fosse Workshop in early February and invited fifty professional dancers to learn the signature style and articulation of Fosse choreography.  Nicole Fosse, the Director and Artistic Advisor for the Verdon Fosse Estate, remarked, “I want this current generation of working dancers to get the best possible people teaching them my father’s material.  There are so many false impressions out there of what my father’s style and technique is…By using Estate sanctioned teachers, I feel a new generation of dancers will have a much cleaner understanding of performing Fosse material.” Continue reading