Tony-winning choreographer, actress Ann Reinking dies at 71

Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 14, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Award-winning choreographer, actress, and Bob Fosse collaborator Ann Reinking has died.

She was 71.

The Associated Press reported that Reinking's manager Lee Gross confirmed that the actress died Saturday while visiting family in Seattle.

According to Variety, Christopher Dean, who teaches dance to Reinking's niece, first announced Reinking's passing on his Facebook page.

Tributes from the Broadway community poured in, including "Fences" Viola Davis, who thank Reinking for her "passion and brilliance." "Hamilton's" Leslie Odom, Jr., thanked Reinking for being a teacher: “She honored the calling for real. RIP to a legend.” Broadway legend Bernadette Peters took to Twitter to express how heartbroken she was, and actress Kristin Chenoweth thanked Reinking for being "so kind and supportive" of her.

She helped spread a cool, muscular hybrid of jazz and burlesque movement to Broadway and beyond.

Reinking was known for her bold style of dance epitomized by her work in the revival of the Kander and Ebb musical "Chicago," complete with net stockings, chair dancing, and plenty of pelvic thrusts.

In 1997, Reinking won a Tony award for best choreography for the musical "Chicago" at the 51st annual Tony Awards, the AP reported.

Reinking co-starred as Roxie Hart along with Bebe Neuwirth's Velma and created the choreography "in the style of Bob Fosse," the show's original director and choreographer.

She and Fosse worked together for 15 years, and she was also his lover for several of them.