There's a Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon TV Series In the Works—With the Team Behind Hamilton at the Helm
The news that Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andy Blankenbuehler and Thomas Kail are working together on a new project is almost too wonderful to handle. But the creative team behind Hamilton isn't reuniting for just any old thing: They're teaming up for a dance-centric television series about Broadway legends Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and we cannot contain our excitement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, FX has given the green light to an eight-episode limited series that will focus on the romantic and creative relationship between Fosse and Verdon, and how it transformed musical theater. Miranda is attached as an executive producer alongside Nicole Fosse (the subjects' daughter and an actress and dancer in her own right); Blankenbuehler is a co-producer (and, we hope, will be on hand for the dance sequences); Kail is slated to direct the pilot episode (written by Steven Levensen, who you might recognize from 2017 Tony Awards juggernaut Dear Evan Hansen). Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell are set to star.
Andy Blankenbuehler performed on Broadway in Fosse before becoming the Great White Way's go-to choreographer. Photo by Rachel Papo
"Bob Fosse ignited a revolution in American dance, theater and film. But, in contrast to the well-worn myth of the visionary artist working in solitude, Fosse's work would not have been possible without Gwen Verdon, the woman who helped to mold his style—and make him a star," said Miranda, Blankenbuehler and Kail in a joint statement.
Calling this a dream team is no overstatement—Blankenbuehler spent a couple of years performing in Fosse on Broadway, and if anyone has a handle on Bob Fosse's iconic, idiosyncratic style, it's got to be Nicole Fosse.
Production is scheduled to begin this fall, as FX is aiming for a 2019 release—keep your eyes peeled for casting notices!
Lin-Manuel Miranda at work. Photo by RadicalMedia. Courtesy PBS
And in other "Lin-Manuel Miranda has zero chill" news...well, there's a lot of it.
This morning, it was announced that the creators of Hamilton—Miranda, Blankenbuehler, Kail and music director Alex Lacamoire—are getting a special Kennedy Center Honor "as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category." No big deal.
It was also recently announced that Miranda will be making his directorial debut with a film adaptation of Tick, Tick...Boom!, a musical by Jonathan Larson (of RENT fame) in which Miranda starred opposite
Aaron Burr Leslie Odom, Jr. in 2014 for a New York City Center Encores! production. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that bidding is underway for the rights to a filming of Hamilton made in 2016, before Miranda left the titular role, and might be on screens as early as 2020. (And we didn't even mention that Miranda is publishing a book of his famed good morning/goodnight tweets, or his announcement that the proceeds from the upcoming Puerto Rico Hamilton performances will be donated to arts organizations in the territory, or this fantastic interview he gave "TODAY," or his latest Emmy nomination, or...)
- How They Met | The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC ›
- Gwen Verdon, Redhead Who High-Kicked Her Way to Stardom ... ›
- Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon in Damn Yankees - Who's Got the ... ›
- Bob Fosse | Biography, Musicals, Movies, & Facts | Britannica.com ›
- FX Orders Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon Limited Series Starring Michelle ... ›
- Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) | Twitter ›
- FX Orders Bob Fosse Series Starring Sam Rockwell, Michelle ... ›
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michelle Williams, Sam Rockwell Team for Bob ... ›
- Every project Lin-Manuel Miranda currently has in the works | EW.com ›
Thirty years ago, U.S. Joint Resolution 131, introduced by congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and Senator Alphonse D'Amato (R-NY), and signed into law by President G. W. Bush declared:
"Whereas the multifaceted art form of tap dancing is a manifestation of the cultural heritage of our Nation...
Whereas tap dancing is a joyful and powerful aesthetic force providing a source of enjoyment and an outlet for creativity and self-expression...
Whereas it is in the best interest of the people of our Nation to preserve, promote, and celebrate this uniquely American art form...
Whereas May 25, as the anniversary of the birth of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is an appropriate day on which to refocus the attention of the Nation on American tap dancing: Now therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress that May 25, 1989, be designated "National Tap Dance Day."
Happy National Tap Dance Day!
The way we create and consume dance is changing every day. Now more than ever, the field demands that dancers not only be able to perform at the highest level, but also collaborate with choreographers to bring their artistic visions to life. Dancers who miss out on choreographic training may very well find themselves at a disadvantage as they try to launch their careers.
Over the past 15 years, Gesel Mason has asked 11 choreographers—including legends like Donald McKayle, David Roussève, Bebe Miller, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Rennie Harris and Kyle Abraham—to teach her a solo. She's performed up to seven of them in one evening for her project No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers.
Now, Mason is repackaging the essence of this work into a digital archive. This online offering shares the knowledge of a few with many, and considers how dance can live on as those who create it get older.
When a musical prepares to make the transfer from a smaller, lesser-known venue to Broadway (where theaters hold 500-plus seats), often there's a collective intake of breath from all involved. After all, a bigger house means more tickets to sell in order to stay in the black, and sometimes shows with even the most tenacious fan bases can't quite navigate such a jump. But what about the transfer from stage…to screen? Is Broadway ready to be consumed from the comfort of your couch?
It's not often that a promising choreographer gets to stage work in a world-class theater, on a skillfully-curated program with professional dancers, and with the possibility of winning a substantial cash prize. But at the McCallum Theatre's Palm Desert Choreography Festival, that's been the status quo for over twenty years.
Since Shea New, the festival's artistic director, founded the festival in 1998, she's worked tirelessly with McCallum's director of education and festival producer, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, and stage manager and festival production manager Joanna Fookes to build a festival that nurtures choreographers, highlights high quality work, powerfully engages the local community and cultivates an audience base for dance in the Coachella Valley. The trio is backed by a strong team of professionals at McCallum and the brilliant volunteers from the local and national level who serve as adjudicators.
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Daphne Lee was dancing with Collage Dance Collective in Memphis, Tennessee, when she received two difficult pieces of news: Her mother had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer, and her father had Parkinson's disease, affecting his mobility and mental faculties.
The New Jersey native's reaction: "I really need to move home."
Summer is almost upon us, and whether you're a student about to go on break or a pro counting the days till layoff, don't forget that with warm weather comes a very serious responsibility: To maintain your cross-training routine on your own.
Those of us who've tried to craft our own cross-training routine know it's easier said than done. So we consulted the stars, and rounded up the best options for every zodiac sign. (TBH, you should probably consult an expert, too—we'd recommend a physical therapist, a personal trainer or your teacher.)
It's become second nature in dance studios: The instant anyone gets hurt, our immediate reaction is to run to the freezer to grab some ice (or, more realistically, a package of frozen peas).
But as routine as icing our injuries might be, the benefits are not actually backed up by scientific studies. And some experts now believe icing could even disrupt the healing process.
I'm a contemporary dancer, and I'm nervous about trying to get pregnant since I can't predict if it might happen during the middle of the season. We have a union contract that is supposed to protect us. But I'm scared because several of my colleagues' contracts weren't renewed for no particular reason. Having a big belly could be a big reason to get rid of me!
—Andrea, New York, NY
When the going gets tough, the tough start dancing: That's the premise behind "Dance of Urgency," a recently opened exhibit at MuseumsQuartier Vienna that features photos, video and other documentary material relating to the use of dance as political protest or social uprising.
The groups featured in the show, largely based around clubs and electronic dance music scenes, span the globe and respond to a variety of issues—from inequality and social stratification to racial divides to crackdowns on club culture itself.
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, fabulous ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several of our faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list:
When you're a foreign dancer, gaining legal rights to work in the U.S. is a challenging process. It's especially difficult if you're petitioning to work as a freelance dancer without an agent or company sponsorship.
The process requires professional muscle along with plenty of resources and heart. "There's a real misnomer that it's super easy," says Neena Dutta, immigration attorney and president of Dutta Law Firm. "People need to educate themselves and talk to a professional."
Here are four things every foreign dancer who wants to work in the U.S. needs to know to build a freelance dance career here.
What does it take to "make it" in dance? It's no secret that turning this passion into a profession can be a struggle. In such a competitive field, talent alone isn't enough to get you where you want to be.
So what kinds of steps can you take to become successful? Dance Magazine spoke to 33 people from all corners of the industry to get their advice on the lessons that could help us all, no matter where we are in our careers.