In a tribute to Liza Minnelli’s iconic version of “All That Jazz,” the Rockettes performed a Fosse-inspired dance onstage at Radio City Music Hall…and it was just what everyone needed.
Liza. Fosse. Rockettes. Three names that need no introduction. Three legacies that also have many points of intersection, as the Rockettes and the team of Fosse reconstructionists and creators discovered while working on this unique dance tribute.
Jazz is a dance form the Rockettes must be proficient in, and it continues to be a key element in their choreography—some of which is greatly inspired by Bob Fosse’s style.
Liza Minelli’s father, Vincente Minelli, designed the original costume for the Rockettes “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” number in 1933, which the Rockettes still wear in the Christmas Spectacular today.
And, of course, Liza has performed many times at Radio City Music Hall (once with the Rockettes), so the creative team felt her version of “All That Jazz” was a natural way to tie all three artists together for this project.
“Jazz is such an integral part of who the Rockettes are choreographically and there’s no one we’d like to honor more than Bob Fosse,” shared Rockettes creative director, Karen Keeler.
“I love Fosse’s iconic dancing. His technique is so dynamic—the highs and lows, the fast, the slow—and you can take that knowledge and make it work with any type of the choreography,” shared Rockette Katelyn.
“Having that style, that history is part of who the Rockettes are, and it’s important to keep that, to keep jazz alive, even old school jazz and bring that into our world. This [collaboration] has been a perfect example of that,” Keeler noted.
For Dana Moore and Lloyd Culbreath of the Verdon/Fosse Legacy, this was a collaborative opportunity unlike any they’d experienced.
“The Rockettes are such beautiful examples of the [dancers] that Mr. Fosse would cast, and so willing to take in one little nuance that we might give them that would make it more the way it was taught to us, and make it more Fosse,” shared Moore.
“Over the span of a career, you literally get one, two, three moments that are just everything—this was everything,” Culbreath exclaimed while standing on stage during the performance.
For the Rockettes, this was a chance to take the Great Stage, and do what they love most…dance.
“It’s just us on stage, empty theater, the lights, and it’s just a really, really unique experience,” shared Rockette Natalie.
Go behind the scenes during the Rockettes Fosse-inspired dance tribute in the video above!