Reference Entry

Verdon, Gwen

Claude Conyers

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print November 2013 |
e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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[Gwyneth Evelyn]

(b Culver City, CA, Jan 13, 1925; d Woodstock, VT, Oct 18, 2000). American musical theater dancer, singer, and actress. Daughter of a Denishawn instructor, she was trained in a variety of dance styles from an early age. As an adult she found work with Jack Cole, a pioneering jazz dancer and choreographer. After dancing with his troupe in nightclubs and a few Broadway shows, she became Cole’s chief assistant and featured dancer in a number of Hollywood musicals in the early 1950s. In 1953, she made a sensation on Broadway in the supporting role of Claudine in Cole Porter’s Can-Can, choreographed by Michael Kidd, and she topped it in 1955 when she starred as Lola the seductive witch in Damn Yankees, choreographed by Bob Fosse. The pairing of Verdon and Fosse was a landmark in show business history, as she was the perfect interpreter of his unique style of jazz dancing and fertile choreographic imagination. Together, they won rave reviews for ...

Reference Entry.  283 words. 

Subjects: Contemporary Music

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