Before you read- the links in the early part of this post don’t work anymore because the people at So You Think You Can Dance are stinkers. The links for and about Bob Fosse should work though.
Sorry if people are sick of all the links to dancing, but hey, it’s my blog, I can do what I want. And besides, I’m doing my part to spread culture. 🙂
This is quite simply one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It’s a Mia Michaels piece (she’s amazing) from Tuesday’s So You Think You Can Dance, and it’s such an intense and powerful depiction of a broken, co-dependent relationship. I’ve quite literally watched it 20 times. 15 of those were in row this morning. I obviously have an addiction. I’m working on it.
And this number– the group opening from Weds. night, is the best Fosse homage I’ve ever seen. I know I use hyperbole a lot (who me?) but this time I really mean it. Wade Robson (LOVE HIM!) choreographed it, and he obviously really understands the principles behind Fosse’s style. Most people who try to do something Fosse-esque just skim the surface and take the shallow elements of the style, but Wade’s captured the spirit of Fosse while updating it.
Don’t know who Bob Fosse was? You’ve most definitely seen work inspired by his, he was incredibly influential. Beside being my favorite choreographer (which doesn’t tell you much, really), he choreographed for Broadway (Chicago, Sweet Charity, Cabaret) and movies (Damn Yankees, Kiss Me Kate) , and his signatures included tight syncopation, precise isolations, hunched shoulders and turned in feet. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, check this out. It’s in Japanese, but you don’t need to listen to it, just watch the dance bits. It’s a really good overview of his work and has some of his best numbers, including one from Damn Yankees that he wasn’t supposed to be in, but the guy who was didn’t show up for filming, so he stepped in and did it himself. And I am SO grateful he did, his performance is amazing. It’s the one with him and a partner, Gwen Verdon, his wife, in yellow frilly outfits.
If that’s not enough for you, or you don’t feel like watching little pieces of things, watch these: from Sweet Charity, and Cabaret .
And because the man himself was such a joy to watch:
from Kiss Me Kate (He’s the one in the red and white, and choreographed his own little solo. Compare him to the other guys dancing, he just moves so differently, even back then. There’s another segment where he dances with a partner, but I can’t find it.)
Ok, culture lesson over for the day. 🙂
I really think that number from Sweet Charity is one of the slickest routines ever. I really think what makes Fosse so awesome is that he really seems to embody the “beat” and “hipster” spirit from that time period. If you look at his movements in Kiss Me Kate, it really looks as if his jumping and spinning are as natural to him as slouching against the wall of a cafe in a beret. The man was slick.