Dance in Pop Culture

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.

The Conversation
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)

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