Bob Fosse

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Bob Fosse, born Robert Louis Fosse on the 23rd June 1927 was an America musical theatre choreographer and director, and a film director, whom unfortunately died on the 23rd September 1987. He died from a heart attack, on the opening night of ‘Sweet Charity’ which he had choreographed. His death was caused by his hectic life style. Many people were saddened as he was a major influence and a big part of many peoples lives. Fosse was a huge influence to a lot of performers. He’d worked many times with Liza Minnelli who worshiped him. From watching Stanley Donen’s 1974 film version of ‘The Little Prince’ the song ‘Snake in the Grass’ where Fosse performed a memorable song and dance number. It shows how he has been such an influence to so many people, including Michael Jackson, as his moves are very similar. Also after researching a lot of Fosse’s influences I came across watching Beyonce’s music video ‘Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)’ and it was being compared to the 1960’s dance which Fosse had choreographed and Gwen Verdon danced it, (Vodpod.com/watch/1258787 accessed on 20/05/09) after watching these two videos it seems Fosse’s style is still influencing artists and dancers to this day. ‘Possessed of both unbridled energy, and tremendous artistic gifts, Fosse was one of this century’s great choreographers’ (DFernando Zaremba www.fosse.com/features/fosse_an_introduction5.html accessed on 01/05/09) Fosse has many signature movements that he used a lot during choreographing dances such as snapping fingers, hip and shoulder rolls, swivelling hips and strutting dominantly. Not only did his dance movements signify his choreography. But the tilted bowler hats, white gloves and tight black costumes, made his choreography stand out over everyone else’s. Fosse wore hats a lot because of his self-consciousness, due to him loosing hair at the young age of 17. He also used gloves a lot because he didn’t like his hands. A quote from Fosse himself ‘I thank God that I wasn’t born perfect’ (www.dailycelebrations.com/06230a.htm accessed on 18/05/09) This quote should give people a lot of confidence because although Fosse was loosing his hair at a young age and he was self-conscious about his hands he’s still glad he wasn’t perfect and lived his life to the full and was very successful in life. Fosse wore gloves a lot due to him being self-conscious. Putting them as part of costume during dances made Fosse’s dance’s stick out from the crowd. None of the choreographers at his time had signature moves or costumes. ‘Fosse himself often called the en masse amalgamation of these moves the ‘amoeba’, and that word as much as any describes his particular style, one at once fluid and angular’ (DFernando Zaremba www.fosse.com/features/fosse_an_introduction5.html accessed on 01/05/09) Fosse has influenced Jazz Dance history and even though he has now passed away he has designed a style that has continued on in dance studios around the world, and will still carry on for a very long time. When Fosse’s sister got enrolled in the ‘Chicago Academy of theatre arts’ She was so shy the first time she went and ended up crying so to give her some courage, Fosse’s parents sent 8 year old Bob Fosse there to keep her company and acknowledgment that someone was there that she knew. After the first day that Fosse had accompanied her, he continued the dance lesson along with her, this was the realisation that this would carry on in his career (All Fosse’s Jazz: Exploring the Razzle-Dazzle World of Bob Fosse thought Martin Gottfried’s All His Jazz Strickland.R Seminar December 2006). He then began studying dance at a small neighbourhood institution but soon moved on to the ‘Frederick Weaver Ballet School’, this is where he founded his confidence as he was the only male enrolled, and people would be laughing. But the person that Fosse is, he just carried on, because he enjoyed it. But Fosse was unable to be traditional as a young dancer to the rigid positions...
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