Dance and musical theater go hand in hand, and the evolution of dancing in Broadway musicals has been resounding. As Broadway continues to evolve, I’ve decided to round up my favorite dance numbers to exemplify the diversity and beauty that these have to offer. A 5-6-7-8!
Seize The Day- Newsies
I couldn’t write about my favorite dance numbers without including a little something from Newsies. “Seize The Day” is my favorite because it includes such an amazing variety of technique and tumbling. While the dancing throughout the entire show is stunning, “Seize The Day” is my favorite because it gives each newsie a chance to show off their best tricks in the spotlight, whilst also featuring wonderful ensemble work.
One- A Chorus Line
“One” is a beautiful example of “classic” Broadway dancing, and thus I couldn’t resist adding it to the list! Its clean, concise movements are snappy and perfectly executed throughout the entire ensemble. A Chorus Line could be considered one of the first Broadway musicals to so prominently feature dance, and its classic choreography remains popular today.
21 Guns- American Idiot
Though not strictly a “dance number” in the traditional sense, I’ve always really liked the choreography from 21 Guns. It plays off of and accentuates the lyrics, includes meaningful movement from lead characters as well as the ensemble, and uses a powerful variety of slower and quieter moments juxtaposed by more intense ones. Despite its unconventional nature, “21 Guns” has always been one of my favorite dance numbers.
Turn It Off- The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is not a very dance-heavy show, as opposed to some more conventional earlier musicals. Despite this, it still contains one of my favorite dance numbers: “Turn It Off.” The dance number is unexpected, as the song starts out without too much dancing but crescendos to a glitzy, snappy tap dance. This tap dance contrasts the song’s somewhat dark subject matter, giving it a more comical feel. Overall, “Turn It Off” is a wonderful and unexpected number that contributes to the comedy of the musical.
All That Jazz- Chicago
“All That Jazz” is another Broadway classic. One of Fosse’s masterpieces, “All That Jazz” features choreography that looks straight out of the Jazz Age itself, dark and alluring and dangerously fun. Probably one of the best-known and most respected pieces on Broadway, “All That Jazz” was a natural favorite for the list.
Revolting Children- Matilda
While a far cry from the work of choreographers like Fosse and Bennett, “Revolting Children” is arguably one of the most high-energy and creative numbers on Broadway. With stellar ensemble work and energy through the roof, “Revolting Children” is so much fun. Its school setting has a sort of Spring Awakening-esque feel, and the choreography (executed by children that can dance better than I’ll ever be able to) is a little unconventional but utterly rebellious and perfectly fits the song.
What are your favorite Broadway dance numbers? Tell me about them in the comments!