Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, Broadway's Groundbreaking Couple, Get an Official Website

By Kenneth Jones
18 Sep 2012

Courtesy VerdonFosse.com

Nicole Fosse wants to make sure that "today's young dancers, if they want to go and study what it's like to do Bob Fosse choreography, will know which teachers they can take from and not waste their time with the inappropriate teachers."

Her goal is for "the style and the integrity and the work ethic" of Verdon and Fosse to live on.

"One of the things that I'm very concerned with preserving is not only the style of his choreography," she said, "but, let me just say, the work ethic that they both upheld. There are certain teachers who can teach the style of Bob Fosse or can teach a dance that my mother did…but to really impart an entire way of approaching the material and of handling one's self in the theatrical realm only comes from certain teachers."



The memorabilia on the verdonfosse.com site includes images of magazine covers (Verdon made the cover of Time in 1955), awards such as Grammys (for the Redhead cast recording) and Tonys (Verdon's first was for Can-Can in 1953-54), cast album covers, ticket stubs, Playbills and more.

"I am working on a book as well, so I don't want to give away everything on the website that may be included in the book," Fosse said. "That's another reason I'm going slowly with how much and what I put up there."

There's also information about what is arguably the most important aspect of her parents' legacy: The Bob Fosse-Gwen Verdon Fellowship, a permanent scholarship for a deserving student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It was created by Nicole Fosse with funds from the estate in 2003.

The Verdon Fosse Estate also oversees the licensing of Bob Fosse's work for theatrical staging, information about which is also on the new site.

Here's how VerdonFosse.com characterizes "how they met": "In the American dance world of the early 1950s Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon had heard of each other's talents but their paths had never crossed. That changed in the spring of 1955. Producer Hal Prince and director George Abbott of the Broadway musical Damn Yankees had suggested to newly hired choreographer Bob Fosse the idea of casting Gwen Verdon for the role of 'Lola.' Fosse was resistant at first. After several failed casting calls, Fosse agreed to meet with Verdon, but only if he could spend a few days in a rehearsal hall seeing if he could work with the veteran Broadway redhead. The synergy that happened in those few days of rehearsal would come to change the careers of both these unique talents. Bob and Gwen both earned Tony Awards for their participation in Damn Yankees and they would go on to become the most accomplished creative couple of the American Broadway Musical for the next three decades."

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Also visit PlaybillVault.com for more about the Broadway work of Verdon and Fosse.