His Choreographic Style:
“Though physically small and asthmatic, Fosse was a dance prodigy; …With pigeon toes and slouching posture, Fosse hardly fit the dance ideal so he focused more on rhythm and style to make up for what he lacked physically.”
Bob Fosse used his imperfections to create his own technique that focused around the imperfections of a dancer’s body to implicate new moves and poses. It focused the most on the hips, belly, shoulders, and isolated areas of the body rather than the legs and feet. Along with his movement style came a specific style of dress as well. His trademark dance sported a bowler hat, black pants, and vest and sleek. This style of dress can also be explained since his idol and influence was Astaire and he also used props like hats, chairs, and canes.
"I was getting pretty bald for a hoofer and felt a hat would hide it. Canes became important to me when my hands started trembling and seemed like a good way to distract the audience." --from The Boston Globe, September 6, 1998.
In addition to the isolated body parts and attire of his dances, his choreography was recognized as a developed jazz dance style that had a stylized, “cynical sexuality.” Distinctions of his styles included movements such as turned-in knees, sideways shuffling, and rolled shoulders.
Even though Bob Fosse created a stylized dance, you must also have technique to be able to attain his combinations. Only a talented and versatile dancer can truly master the Fosse style. A fosse dancer must have a strong tecnique in ballet, tap (influenced in his movement because he started out learning this as a child), and jazz. As well as dancing, a person must also be able to sing and act. While dancing a Fosse performance, dancers would be required to sing and be able to express themselves with their bodies and stage presence as any actor could using character and dialogue.
Although Fosse's movements are based around his own body, some may consider his movement style to be sultry and inappropriate. For example, a scholarly source explains a scene. "Certainly the cabaret audience in the film is positioned as being morally guilty by placing them in a mirror relationship to the grotesque performers on stage." Normally dance movements are not characterized as grotesque or adjectives like this. One must look at his choreography as a whole and be open minded as to its pure meaning and difficult technique.