Music for Class: Broadway Belle

With razzle-dazzle dance moves, a stunning physique and a powerful voice, Dana Moore has left her mark on the Broadway stage. From Sheila in A Chorus Line to Hunyak (“Not Guilty”) in Chicago, she has shimmied her way through some of our favorite musicals and even worked directly with Bob Fosse on Dancin’ and the 1986 revival of Sweet Charity.

Now, Moore brings her Broadway experience to the next stars of the stage, teaching at Steps on Broadway in NYC, Jacob’s Pillow and Marymount Manhattan College’s musical theater department.

Moore took time away from her busy class schedule to sift through her extensive music collection with DT, and she was barely able to choose just a few favorites to discuss. Spanning all eras and genres, her picks for class have a unifying theme: “All of the artists that I use are great storytellers through their music,” Moore says, “and that is exactly what we should be doing with theater dance. We aren’t just doing steps. We’re doing steps with some life behind them, some story, some character.” DT

Artist: Brian Stokes Mitchell

Album/Songs: Brian Stokes Mitchell, “Something’s Coming” and “Life Is Sweet”

“I’m enamored with Brian Stokes Mitchell’s new CD, and I use it for everything from warm-up to little steps to combinations. His version of ‘Life Is Sweet’ has an Ellington-era big band sound. ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story has a Latin groove, so you can really move to it.”

 

 

Artist: Debbie Gravitte

Album: MGM Album

“I love Debbie Gravitte. I use the MGM Album for combinations, for all kinds of steps and dancing and choreography. Every song is right out of MGM movies, and they are just fantastic to dance to—the arrangements are so great.”

 

 

Artist: Jason Mraz

Album/Song: Waiting for My Rocket to Come, “You and I Both”

“I usually use ‘You and I Both’ for my ankle warm-up and tendu combinations. It just has a great sound because it’s very upbeat. I also like Mraz’s songs ‘Curbside Prophet’ and ‘Geek in the Pink.’”

 

 

Artist: Michael Bublé

Album: Call Me Irresponsible

“Michael Bublé is contemporary but of the same style as Frank Sinatra. He sounds old and classic but also very today. I’ll use pretty much any of his music. Call Me Irresponsible is a great one, but I have three of his CDs that I use interchangeably mostly for big combinations in class.”

 

 

Artist: Tom Waits

Album: Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

“Tom Waits just has wonderful arrangements. He’s got that real down and dirty feeling. His songs have great rhythm, and his music is a perfect example of really good storytelling. When dancing to his music, it’s easy to tell a story with your movement.”

 

 

Album: Big Deal

Song: “Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar”

“There are some specific musicals I use more than others, like Billy Elliot, Sweet Charity and Chicago, and I love Big Deal. In this musical all of the music used was already

written, but the arrangements are original. ‘Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar’ in particular is really danceable.”

Photo courtesy Jacob's Pillow

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