Many people have different opinions on who is the father of Modern Jazz, but in my opinion it all began with Bob Fosse.
He was born Robert Louis "Bob" Fosse on June 23, 1927 and died September 23, 1987. He was an actor, dancer, musical theater choreographer, director, screenwriter, film editor and film director. Many movies that we love today have originally been choreographed by Bob during his day.
Fosse was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Norwegian father and an Irish mother and was the second youngest of six children.
Fosse teamed up with Charles Grass, another young dancer and began a collaboration under the name The Riff Brothers. They toured theaters through the Chicago area, and eventually Fosse was hired for Tough Situation, which toured military and naval bases in the Pacific.
Fosse later moved to New York with the ambition of being the next Fred Astaire. In 1953, Fosse got his early screen appearances in Give a Girl a Break, The Affairs of Dobie Gillis and Kiss Me Kate.
Fosse's career was cut short, due to premature balding, which limited the roles that he could take, and he was reluctant to move from Hollywood to theater. Nevertheless, he made the move, and in 1954, he choreographed his first musical. The Pajama Game, which was followed by Damn Yankees in 1955.
Fosse developed a jazz style that was immediately recognizable, exuding a stylized, cynical sexuality. Other notable distinctions of his style included the use of turned-in knees, sideways shuffling, and rolled shoulders. One of his best dances, in my opinion that shows his style the best is
This not only shows his dance style, but his signature movie with the hats.
One of Bob Fosse's most interesting pieces and in my opinion is his Mr. Bojangles piece. In his other pieces, he has the dance sing, but within this piece, the dancer doesn't sing. He has one dancer, Mr. Bojangles, do minimal movements, while another dancer is behind him dancing.
One song that most of us know today, Big Spender, was originally a Bob Fosse dance
In 1979, a semi-autobiographical film All that Jazz was created, and it was many of Fosse's different songs from his famous Broadway Shows within it. Bob Fosse also has his own Way in Chicago.