As Bob Fosse Dance

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Initial Starting Points for the Fosse Experience.

Bob Fosse .

Robert Louis Fosse Developed his own form of Jazz style in American Broadway and musical theatre throughout the course of the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. He was the choreography behind ‘All that Jazz’, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Sweet charity’. Elements of Fosse’s work can be seen to this day and common characteristics include Soft Boiled Egg cupped hands, the Charleston step, angled joints, the drape and the Fosse walk. For this project, I am studying this unit as a choreographer

The selection process .
Choreographic style:
I have chosen the Fosse style Which offers a different set of skills to what we have previously learnt. We first explored Siobhan Davies which gave us an insight into the new contemporary world which I am most comfortable with, it showed us how to use free flowing movements and an on-going sense of energy, not concentrating on connecting with the audience. We then began to look at Arlene Philips’ work which as a completely different style of dance this time focusing on learning how to develop our relationships with each other and for me personally doing this style of dance brought me completely out of my contemporary comfort zone helped me build my confidence in my performance and connection to the audience. Fosse’s style also let me begin to explore the use of acting and characterisation within dance.

Through choosing Fosse’s Jazz style I have been able to further develop characterisation as well as experiment with musicality and the use of storytelling. Furthermore I have had the chance to characterise myself and have the ability to become a new person through a dance.

Fosse’s work:
When researching Fosse’s work using You Tube as a resource I noticed his work covered many different characteristics, for example, there was lively, upbeat pieces such as ‘I Want to Be a Dancing Man" from Dancin' (1977). This was described by TIME MAGAZINE as: "An inevitable hit, a galvanizing eruption of energy, panache and sure-footed stagecraft. There hasn't been anything like it in years!" Contrasting this, ‘Cell block Tango’, from Chicago is a darker, passionate, forceful and aggressive piece and is one of Fosse’s most influential and famous work. Another example is ‘Big Spender’ from Sweet Charity which conveys Fosse’s provocative style and conveys women as an object of sexualisation; this is a factor which can be seen in the majority of Fosse’s work. In particular in his autobiographical film ‘All That Jazz’ where he illustrates his life story as a sordid, womanizing, drug-using choreographer. Venue:

The venue available for rehearsal is the college dance studio which we share with the rest of the class. It has a sprung rubber floor a bar and wall length mirrors. This differs to Fosse where he would have had the whole studio to rehearse but we are able to book rehearsal times so we too can have the whole space. The Floor helps us to execute movements as it gives us more momentum helping with jumps, leaps and turns. Also the mirrors are essential in the rehearsal space as we are able to use trial and error and check our posture.

Mirrors and appearance in the mirror and experiment with different expressions. Mirrors and appearance in the mirror and experiment with different expressions.

Bar
Bar
Desk, comp. sound system.
Desk, comp. sound system.
Dance space
Dance space

Door
Door

For the performance we have access to two venues the first is the 13 year old performance theatre ‘P9’.

Back curtain
Back curtain
Stage
Stage

Entrance/Exit
Entrance/Exit

SEATING
SEATING

P.9’s stage is the same size as the dance studio facing the mirrors, so when practising we need to rehearse facing the mirrors. There are no wings at the side of the stage so when not dancing...
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