Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beyoncé and Fosse

What do and international R&B superstar and the deceased Broadway Director/Choreographer have in common? Quite a lot, actually. Aside from the fact that they are both often referred to using one name, Beyoncé has been inspired more than once by the work of this iconic Broadway master.

Just another reason why the past is always relevant - it's an unparalleled source of inspiration!

If you haven't seen the video to Beyoncé's "Single Ladies", I've included it above (where were you in 2008, exactly?). Anyway, here is the video of the Bob Fosse dance that inspired the choreography for the "Single Ladies" video. You can watch it with or without the sound; it isn't the original soundtrack.
Update, MAY 2012: This is the original soundtrack but has humorous subtitles added:

Unfortunately, the video with the original audio does not exist on Youtube - if you appreciate good music, for the love of all that is good and holy DON'T CLICK ON ANYTHING WITH "Walk it out" IN THE TITLE. It's some fool parody of the video that has taken off enough to have a group of three women actually remake the "Walk it Out" version of the dance. If you have any self-respect you won't waste your time by giving them any more views. Update MAY 2012: The original soundtrack exists, but only in the subtitled version.

Anyway, Beyoncé has admitted to using this Fosse choreography in her "Single Ladies" video, and has exalted Fosse for the genius that he was. However, I, being the insufferable theater/film/Broadway nerd that I am, spotted some moves in "There's Gotta be Something Better Than This" from "Sweet Charity" that are clearly used in "Single Ladies":

Take that as your Lagniappe courtesy of Nostalgically Yours!

Here is Beyoncé's lesser-known "Get me Bodied": Anyone who's seen "Sweet Charity" recently will probably notice the similarities to the "Rich Man's Frug" sequence and to "Think Pink", the opening number of the classic film "Funny Face". Both are featured below:

(This version of the number doesn't include the "Who is it" sequence referenced in "Get Me Bodied". You'll have to rent the movie to see that, but it's worth it!)

I'm (pardon the expression) tickled pink that Beyoncé is doing this! She and artists like her are making the past relevant again, even if teenager don't fully appreciate that it's happening.

You'll definitely be hearing more about this!

Nostalgically Yours

For more on Beyoncé, see this post.
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  1. VERY good post!
    V E R Y good post!
    Although I'm not into Beyonce's music and videos. But interesting. Thank you!

  2. I happened to like that walk it out video. I lol'ed.

  3. Haha you can totally see the single ladies dance in fosse's dance! Awesome post.

  4. Thanks, gals!

    Also, you would, Stephen.


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