Why I'm Obsessed with Pippin

Patina Miller (center) as the Lead Player in "Pippin." Photo by Michael J. Lutch.

Once upon a time, about 35 years ago, a college guy fell in love with one of his classmates. She was not interested, which made him sad.

The guy, being kind of artsy-fartsy, was a member of an a cappella ensemble. One day, feeling inspired, he decided to arrange "Corner of the Sky"—a song from one of Broadway's biggest hits at the time, Pippin—for the group. It was (and is) a great song, openhearted and earnest, with lyrics about the challenges of finding one's place in the world.

The guy sang the song at his a cappella group's next performance. The girl heard him sing it, and suddenly she began to see the guy in a new light. She started falling for him.

A few years later, the guy and girl got married. And more than three decades after that a cappella performance, my parents are still going strong—and singing songs from Pippin.

OK, I'm sorry. That was a lot of non-dancey mushiness. But there wasn't any other way to explain to you why I'm so excited about the fact that a new production of Pippin just opened in previews on Broadway. Thanks to Mom and Dad, I grew up listening to Pippin's Stephen Schwartz soundtrack over and over on family car trips. Then, once I started dancing, I got reaaaally into the show's choreography, by this dude Bob Fosse you've maybe heard of a couple of times. (You guys: Watch this, right now.) In college, I even toned down my bunhead-iness enough to perform in a production of it. It's one of those shows that's defined my life.

Not many people are familiar with Pippin these days, but my obsession with it isn't unmerited: As we told you a few weeks ago, it's a great musical. And the revival has a circus-y twist, with crazy acrobatics spicing up Chet Walker's re-imagining of Fosse's original choreography. I got a sneak peek at the new Pippin, directed by the amazing Diane Paulus, a few weeks ago, and it looked absolutely fantastic. (You CANNOT MISS Patina Miller as the Leading Player, a role originated by Ben Vereen.)

Anyway, all I'm really trying to say is: Go. See. This. Show. It's in previews now at the Music Box Theatre, and officially opens on April 25th.

I'll see you there—and so will my mom and dad.

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe

It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.

But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.

Keep Reading Show less
Competition

WilldaBeast and…a car? They may be unusual duet partners, but this new ad proves they're a pretty sweet match.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance Videos

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways