The ladies of Freestyle Dance Academy are proud to present: “The Cell Block Tango.” For those unfamiliar with the musical Chicago, “Cell Block Tango” is a number that takes place during the prison section of the show. The audience is introduced to some perilous inmates, all of whom proceed to tell the tale of how they ended up in their situation. The scene was made famous during the motion picture production of Chicago, in 2002, when Catherine Zeta-Jones starred at Velma Kelly. You can view the original scene here. Disclaimer: The original Cell Block Tango scene may not be suitable for all ages.
This past summer, Freestyle Dance Academy set out to do a fun & unique dance concept video with the female dance teachers of the dance studio. While the original content of “Cell Block Tango” can be seen as a bit risqué, FDA wanted to prove that it could be done tastefully & dynamically, while still paying tribute to one of Broadway’s iconic scenes. Alexis, Ali, Colleen & Jasmine worked on the group numbers in rehearsal, while putting together their solos individually. FDA wanted to showcase various styles of dance including hip-hop, jazz, tap & ballet, to display that movement can be transferred and used with any kind of music, as long as the dancer is inspired by it.
“Cell Block Tango” was conceptualized by director, Tony Azzaro, and then choreographed by Freestyle Dance Academy jazz dance teacher, Ms. Colleen. Colleen is a dancer with Project Moshen Dance Company, in Philadelphia, along with Sanbrooka Productions. “Cell Block Tango” also features FDA hip-hop teacher, Ms. Ali; ballet teacher, Ms. Jasmine; and tap dance teacher, Mrs. Alexis. The video intends to show the powerful & bold movements of female dancers, all while maintaing their distinct femininity. Often, people only associate dancers with softness & grace, when in reality the dancer is just as explosive and conditioned as any other athlete. Basically, these ladies are stunning, but don’t mess with them! Ms. Colleen has done a phenomenal job of blending traditional Broadway-style jazz, with her own brand of modern, high octane jazz choreography.
The Freestyle Dance Academy “Cell Block Tango” video was filmed by up & coming music & video producer, Matthew Gold. Matthew does music & video production work in the Philadelphia region, and has a unique artistic eye for camera angles and cinematography. Freestyle Dance Academy selected Matthew to film, as we knew he would provide unique footage to help us achieve the high-paced, dramatic shots we were hoping to use to compliment the dancers. The space for the video shoot was provided by Cutting Edge Entertainment, a DJ & entertainment company in Philadelphia, PA. Freestyle Dance Academy has a long-standing relationship with the DJ company, as its dancers have rehearsed in our studios, which you can read about here. There are also multiple members of Freestyle Dance Academy who work as entertainers for Cutting Edge. The garage belonging to Cutting Edge was the provided the industrial look for the video, and the crew from CEE also provided the lighting for the project.
Chicago was chosen for the project, as it is one of Broadway’s most iconic shows, and contains strong female characters. The dance studio challenged itself to take a recognizable number such as “Cell Block Tango,” and remake it in our own way. Chicago is Broadway’s second longest running production, behind only The Phantom of the Opera. The 2002 film, which was the inspiration for the concept video, also won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The goal of the video was to show the talent & personalities of our incredible ladies at Freestyle Dance Academy, while paying homage to a Broadway classic, albeit in our own type of style. For more videos from Freestyle Dance Academy, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
For those who have seen Chicago, Cell Block Tango is a scene that discusses some adult topics such as violence & sensuality. While our dancers have worked hard to make sure the movement & visual experience is appropriate for all ages, we can only edit the music so much. We have done our best to edit the content as much as possible, but please be aware of some of the lyrics. Enjoy the video!