… and all that Fosse!

We recently sat down with the lovely and talented Alina Adjemian to discuss the evolution of dance during the roaring 1920’s, her challenges working on this very dance-focussed production, and all things Fosse.

Alina Adjemian, choreographer for “CHICAGO”

Alina comes to “CHICAGO” with an extensive dance and choreography resume. If you have seen a Northumberland Players musical, chances are you have seen her brilliant choreography before. Nonetheless, “CHICAGO” presented a new level of trials and tribulations: crafting visually exciting movement that does the show justice, but is do-able for her hard-working, volunteer, non-professional chorus.

Alina says, “social norms shifted majorly in the 1920’s. I mean, speak-easies, bootlegger-run underground clubs- everything got loose! And the same thing happened to dance. It became so energetic. No more sleepy waltzes. Audiences can look forward to seeing lots of fox trot, swing moves and naturally, the Charleston.”

Of course there is one name that will always be synonymous with this show and that name is Fosse.

“I don’t know that Bob Fosse’s choreography has resonated with audiences so much as it has with dancers. It is so unique.

“This is where the choreography for this show differs from other shows I have worked on. It is extremely specific to the Fosse style.

“The movements aren’t hard, but they’re so specific. They have to be precise – you can’t just do your own thing as a choreographer with this show. This is very stylized.

“My aim is to keep the Fosse style but adapt it to the abilities of our ensemble – the majority of whom have never danced in a show before. You want to make them look good and make it interesting to look at, but with some being so green, you also don’t want to overwhelm them.

“Also, there’s the sheer amount of time they’re dedicating to their dancing. These men and women are easily rehearsing 15-20 hours per week and some took additional jazz dance classes outside of rehearsals.”

Alina Adjemian, choreographer for “CHICAGO”

Tickets are on sale now and are being scooped up fast. You don’t want to be left standing on the sidelines while those lucky jazz birds dance on over to the theatre!

Photo of Bob Fosse and Vivica Lindfors courtesy of Alix Jeffry [Public domain]. Photo of Alina Adjemian by Grzegorz Kieszkowski.