An Important Influence On MJ - Macleans.ca

An Important Influence On MJ

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While trying to think of something appropriate to say for Canada Day (something between “go, Canada!” and Robertson Davies’ description of Canada as “the good daughter who stayed at home”), I thought I would post a couple of clips from an important influence on Jackson’s dancing style: choreographer-dancer Bob Fosse, a specialist in bowler hats, snapping fingers, and very precise movements that called for exceptional flexibility. (The reason Fosse developed these moves was that he really wasn’t a great dancer or choreographer in the technical sense, leading him to develop methods of choreography that depended more on unique poses than traditional gracefulness.) Jackson, a fan of classic musicals, paid tribute to Fosse as well as other influences like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in numbers like “Smooth Criminal”. Here’s the number that made Fosse famous as a choreographer, “Steam Heat.”

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.2850038&w=560&h=340&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

And here’s Fosse doing the only good number in the 1974 flop musical version of The Little Prince, playing a snake:


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