How Did "Fosse/Verdon" Make Those Dance Numbers Look Like the Real Deal?
A still from "Fosse/Verdon." Michael Parmalee/FX
When you're talking about a style as distinct as Fosse, a flick of the wrist or a roll of the hip is never just that. It takes intention, finesse, exactness and, of course, that characteristically smoldering sex appeal.
Now that the finale of "Fosse/Verdon" has aired, FX is taking viewers behind the scenes to reveal how the dancing came together—and it wasn't just a quick reconstruction.
In the video, director Thomas Kail says, "It was really essential to us that any work that referenced or was from Cabaret or Sweet Charity or from Pippin felt like the real thing."
To get it right, they went as straight to the source as you could get, relying on heavy-hitting-performers-turned-reconstructors Valarie Pettiford, Dana Moore and Lloyd Culbreath. This trio from the Verdon Fosse Legacy worked directly with Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse as dancers, and they've spent more than six years reconnecting with the choreography's original aims for projects like "Fosse/Verdon." Having the pair's daughter, Nicole Fosse, on board as the show's co-executive producer and creative consultant further ensured authenticity.
For insight into numbers like "Big Spender," plus tantalizing studio footage of the legacy dancers today—they've definitely still got it—check out the video below.
And if you haven't devoured "Fosse/Verdon" yet, consider your weekend fully booked.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.
I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.
I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.
That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?