Masters of the Universe

by Judith Fein

When I travel, one of my guilty pleasures is attending master classes. Sometimes I’ll catch an artist who can change young painters’ lives with the flick of a brush. Other times a famous violinist will teach a technically proficient young musician how to bow with more passion, and the latter’s playing transforms before my eyes. This past weekend, there was a master class in my hometown and I dropped everything to attend.

Photo Slide Show by Paul Ross


If there is a dancer with larger shoulders, bigger blue eyes and a closer tie to Bob Fosse, I don’t know who she is. Ann Reinking was in Santa Fe, teaching a master class to excited teens and helping to stir up interest in the New Mexico School for the Performing Arts, which will open in Fall 2010. At one moment, I thought I felt a strange breeze blowing through the Dance Barn where the class took place. It was probably the spirit of Fosse himself, conjured by his illustrious star and ex-partner.

Reinking’s best-known performances include Goodbye Charly, Dancin’, Chicago, A Chorus Line, Sweet Charity and, of course, All That Jazz, which was a fictionalized account of her relationship with the brilliant, chain-smoking, overworked, burned-out, womanizing Fosse. If you haven’t seen the latter, stop reading and go rent the DVD or place your order with Netflix.

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