Bob Fosse’s Genius

Recently, I read something on the internet suggesting Michael Jackson didn’t create the Moonwalk which is attributed to him.  He may have named it, but the dance was around before he made it famous.

Moonwalk is defined narrowly by some people as a backward slide across the floor.  I’ve always been under the impression it’s something more complicated, including many of the steps in the Bob Fosse video shared on this post.  However, I’m not a dancer or a choreographer, so I could be completely off the mark here.  At any rate, the backward slide and the other steps were performed before we heard a name for any of them.

To see how old the backward slide really is (and I don’t know for a fact that this is even the first), take a look at Bill Bailey’s 1955 tap dancing performance at the Apollo Theater.  It appears below, with Bob Fosse’s dance.  Watch it to the very end.

If anyone knows who is responsible for this form of dance, please leave a comment below.

The movie adaptation of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery predates Michael Jackson’s Thriller album by about ten years.  The choreography may be an entirely original work, but Mr. Fosse might also have acted on well-established influences, the way all great artists do.

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