60’s DANCE: The Frug (froog) The Frug evolved from another dance of its era, “the Chicken”, which featured lateral body movements primarily used as a change of pace while doing the Twist. As dancers grew more tired they would do less work, moving only their hips while standing in place. They then started to add more other creative movements, which prompted the birth of the Swim, the Monkey, the Dog, the Watusi, the Mashed Potato, and the Jerk.
Director/choreographer Bob Fosse’s dance technique is iconic. “Fosse”, as it’s typically referenced, employs abstract gestures, hyper exaggerated shapes and unexpected percussive punctuations, all done with total cool, that made it a stellar standout loved by many, particularly professional dancers. His inimitable style is rendered at one with the Frug in “Sweet Charity”. The film features a decadent parody of 60’s chic and indulgence called “The Rich Man’s Frug”, segmented into “The Aloof”, “The Heavyweight” and “The Big Finish”. Look out for Shirley McLean as “Charity Hope Valentine” and Ricardo Montalban as “Vittorio Vitale”, off the top; two of Fosse’s fave dancers, Suzanne Charny and Ben Vereen; as well as costumes, designed by the renowned Edith Head. The film made back less than half its $20 M production tab at box office, but today holds up as cool classic.
Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” music video takes a spin on Fosse’s “Rich Man’s Frug”.