Song Of The Day 2/28/2015: Cyd Coleman - "The Rich Man's Frug (from 'Sweet Charity')"

Do the Dance Craze: The “Frug” (pronounced “froog”) is not your German grandmother’s euphemism for a stronger word for when she’s left the sauerbraten on too long. It was a dance in the ’60s that evolved somehow from The Chicken. According to this pretty wonderful summary on Hubpages it also went by the names “the Surf, Big Bea or Thunderbird… We flailed our arms and legs in way of the Twist but toned down the swiveling hips into a fast or sometimes slow sway.” That analysis doesn’t mean much to me since my living frame of dance reference only extends back to The Hustle (which you’ll be grateful I overlooked this past week). But unlike most of the other dances over the past seven days, at least someone can retell the story of The Frug.

It was prominently featured in the opening moments of the motion picture musical Sweet Charity with Shirley MacLaine, in a dance number with music by composer Cyd Coleman. The choreographer was Bob Fosse who, out of all choreographers that ever existed to that point, used his dances as an extension of psychoanalysis. Usually his, but maybe yours too, or those Nazi German bastards for whom psychotherapy was more of a nuisance. Fosse divided “The Rich Man’s Frug” into three movements, also explained in that Hubpages article, offering pungent social commentary. Note the snobbish arrogance of the background male well-to-do’s, coursing across the camera lens like constipated flamingoes, their heads judging and craned like haughty crescent moons. In six years they’ll be wearing flared trousers, hunching over a hand-held mirror in the bathroom at Studio 54. That’s what I’m picking up, anyway. I might’ve had too many egg rolls for lunch.

Hope you liked Dance Craze Week. Someone must’ve.

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