Our Theatre Jazz Teacher Daniel Dolling has curated a list of his favourite musical theatre routines of all time. He also shares his advice for students watching musical theatre who want to improve their own dancing.
‘I Hope I Get It’ from A Chorus Line
This show really tells the story of what life is like for a working dancer. I love this opening, but all the numbers are great.
‘Rich Man’s Frug’ from Sweet Charity
I love anything from Bob Fosse. He was a pioneer and has a style all of his own that has greatly influenced many artists and pop icons today, including Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and even Beyoncé. Of the shows he has choreographed, I particularly like ‘Rich Man’s Frug’ for its originality and quirkiness.
‘All That Jazz’ from Chicago
Bob Fosse again. Simplicity, sexiness and class.
Quick questions with Daniel
What is your favourite contemporary musical and why?
Right now it’s a tie between The Book of Mormon and Kinky Boots. I love the writing in The Book of Mormon – it’s so smart and funny with great musical numbers. Plus it also has a show-stopping Tap number which I love. Kinky Boots is also great. It’s totally fun with a lot of heart. There is sense of realism in the way in which the characters are portrayed and the performances are sensational. It also has a great message and is something that I think it is very poignant at this time.
Who is your favourite musical theatre performer of all time?
I would have to say Australia’s own Caroline O’Connor. She is a force to be reckoned with. She can do it all – sing, dance, act, and her comedic skills are second to none. From iconic roles such as Nini Legs-In-The-Air in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge to leads on Broadway and the West End, this Aussie performer is a true international star. Caroline has opened to rave reviews as the Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevich in Anastasia, which just premiered on Broadway. She is brilliant in everything she does. Just watch what she does next.
When students watch musical theatre, what should they look out for in order to improve their own dancing?
How people stand, even when they are not the focus. Musical theatre performers have a real poise and stage presence that can project right to the back of a theatre. All of their movements are deliberate and well-placed. They don’t switch off for even a second.
Take Beginners Theatre Jazz with Daniel on Saturdays at 1pm, and Theatre Jazz Level 1 with Daniel on Sundays at 1pm.