Bob Fosse in the studio (courtesy Dance Magazine Archives)

6 Music Videos Inspired by the Work of Bob Fosse

Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancy FX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.


"Get Me Bodied," Beyoncé

There's no doubt that Beyoncé's music video for "Get Me Bodied" was inspired by Fosse's "Rich Man's Frug," from the musical Sweet Charity. From the the fist pumps to the ponytail flips (not to mention the costumes and set), the vid channels the glamor of "Rich Man's Frug" perfectly.

"Alejandro," Lady Gaga

There are all kinds of influences at play in this epic video, but it clearly references the film version of Cabaret (which Fosse choreographed) at several different points, with Lady Gaga embodying Sally Bowles. Notice the Fosse-esque hip and hand movements throughout, and particularly at the 6:20 mark of the music video.

"Circus," Britney Spears

We see subtle Fosse references throughout Britney Spears' "Circus" video. Spears, as the circus ring leader, appears to be channeling the Leading Player from Fosse's musical Pippin. There's some saucy Fosse-style hat-and-cane choreo, too, and a section with chairs that recalls Cabaret.

"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," Beyoncé

There's probably no stronger representation of Fosse's influence on popular culture than Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" (aka the "best video of all time"). Its choreo pays homage to—or, some have argued, steals from—Fosse's number "Mexican Breakfast," which was created for a performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Check out this video to see the similarities side by side.

Latest Posts


Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search