Dance for Musical Theatre: Robert Louis Fosse Essay
*No Works Cited Robert Louis Fosse was born on June 23, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of
a vaudevillian and appropriately enough was born into the theatre. As a child, the art of
dance wasn’t only used as a past time by young Fosse, but rather as a way of gaining
attention from friends and family. From an early age he had already started studying
ballet, tap and acrobatic dance. As Fosse grew up, his talented dancing and
signature showmanship had began molding his future career.
While still a teenager, he performed with a partner as the Riff brothers in vaudeville
and burlesque theaters. Before moving to New York and studying acting at the …show more content…
executing sometimes disjointed or torturously slow-motion movements drilled to the lift
of an eyebrow”, was how one dance magazine critic described it. At times he seemed to
take the human body apart and make each piece work separately. The choreographer
/dancer relationship was also different when it came to Fosse. He never taught anything
he didn’t know or research and always gave respect while expecting it in return.
After Pajama Game Fosse found himself in demand by countless Broadway
producers, directors and even choreographers. He worked alongside Abbot again on
Damn Yankees, which was his first of many shows with dance legend Gwen Verdon,
chiefly remembered for her performance “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets”. He also
worked with Judy Holiday on Bells are Ringing and How to Succeed in Business Without
Really Trying with Robert Morse.
While the Choreographer/Producer relationships Fosse had established flourished so
did one of his Choreographer/Dancer relationships. After working on Damn Yankees
with Gwen Verdon she seemed to epitomize his signature movements and emotion.
She had dazzling long legs and double-jointed shoulders, which seemed to flow with
Fosse’s dance steps so easily. From then