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DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Welcome to Dennis Anyone, a podcast about making things up and making things happen. I love to talk to creative types about what they do and how they do it. Hope you enjoy my conversations as much as I do. - Dennis H.

May 11, 2023

Dennis is joined via Zoom by Vincent Paterson, director, choreographer, dancer, actor and now co-author of a book about his life and career entitled Icons & Instincts: Choreographing and Directing Entertainment's Biggest Stars. Part One of their conversation, featuring lots of stories about his work with Michael Jackson, was the last episode. This is Part 2 where Vince talks a lot about his yours working with Madonna; first on the Pepsi commercial that got banned, then on the “Express Yourself” video, the Blonde Ambition tour, the iconic Marie Antionette “Vogue” performance at the MTV Awards, the “Sooner or Later” Marilyn Monroe homage at the Oscars and the film Evita. Vince recalls getting the Blonde Ambition gig late, after another choreographer had been fired, and having to come up with the whole 18-song show in 21 days. He’d put a song on before he went to bed, dream what the number would be and then put it on the dancers and Madonna the next day. He also talks about getting a bad review from the Pope, refusing to appear on camera for Truth or Dare, creating tango magic in Argentina for Evita and what it was like when his two iconic collaborators Michael Jackson and Madonna would talk to him about each other. Other topics include: getting humiliated, then fired, then rehired by Shirley MacLaine, working with Bjork and Lars Von Trier on Dancer in the Dark, directing the musical Cabaret in Berlin where its set, being blacklisted by Hal Prince, working with Mike Nichols and Robin Williams on The Birdcage and the power of putting inspirational pictures on your refrigerator.