Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Now Walk It Out

On this day in 1926 the great Gwen Verdon was born in Culver City. Verdon played the role of Roxie Hart in the original Fosse-directed Broadway cast of Chicago, as well a performing in and choreographing countless other productions.

So what does the late Gwen Verdon have to do with pop music? Well, when the video for Beyoncé's hit single "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" exploded in black and white greatness early last year, the more connected theatre and dance devotees were quick to point out the similarities in its whirlwind choreography to an appearance Verdon made on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969, and indeed it was that performance (likely choreographed by Fosse, Verdon's husband) that served as inspiration for Sasha Fierce (and a legion of tributes). Video of the sequence has also made the YouTube rounds, although without its original music, "Mexican Breakfast," but rather an overdub of Unk's 2006 single "Walk It Out." The result is both entertaining and hilarious.

In tribute to the theatrical icon, here is the original Single Lady herself, dancing (miraculously) to some new millenium rap.

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