Bob Fosse's wife Gwen Verdon gets her due this fall

Haberman, who performed in ‘Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ ‘(she was in the original studio) and’ Pippin ‘, was Fosse’s assistant choreographer on t...


Haberman, who performed in ‘Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ ‘(she was in the original studio) and’ Pippin ‘, was Fosse’s assistant choreographer on the Broadway Show “Big Deal”. In “Sweet Gwen”, the dances, which never had official titles, are named after the music: “Cool Hand Luke”, “Mexican Shuffle” and “Mexican Breakfast”, which inspired Beyoncé’s video. For Haberman, this latest issue – with its casual head jumps and dashing, roundabout walks – most resembles the Verdon.

“What I think that’s really interesting about these three pieces is that they’re very smooth and sweet, and there’s nothing dark about it,” Haberman said. “There is no irony.”

They are also, she says, simple. And they add to more than a pose with a derby hat. In other words, Haberman shows nuance and humor, as well as, like Verdon, generosity and playfulness. That’s what made her so delicious to dance. “To me, that’s why it’s so appealing, and that’s why I hate renditions so much now,” Haberman said of Fosse’s work, “because it’s hard – everything has hard edges and it has no intention except a lot like counts and sex.

During a rehearsal in July, Haberman broke the movement, setting accents and changing focus, but also urging the dancers – two men with Pazcoguin – to be as simple as possible. “I keep saying when we get there it must be like nothing,” Haberman said. “I mean the beauty of watching Gwen in these videos is like ahhh. There is just this ease. It was sort of Gwen’s genius. It was just easy.

For the new dance suite, Lynne Shankel orchestrated and arranged the music, by Herb Alpert, Lalo Schifrin and Johnny Mandel. While Haberman views the first two works as being choreographed by Fosse in terms of clear structure, “I don’t care who choreographed it,” Haberman said. “Bob and Gwen – she gave him stuff, he gave her stuff.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Bob Fosse's wife Gwen Verdon gets her due this fall
Bob Fosse's wife Gwen Verdon gets her due this fall
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