The Curtain Comes Down on Two of Broadway’s Legendary Dancers

Posted on February 9, 2024

by Eric P

January 30 was a rough day for song-and-dance virtuosos. As every theatre buff surely noticed, the American musical theatre was overrepresented in that day’s obituaries – by Chita Rivera, who established herself as a force of nature on Broadway with indelible performances in West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdy, and Chicago; and by Hinton Battle, who was in Dreamgirls and originated the role of the Scarecrow in The Wiz.

Both were multiple Tony-winners; both were dazzling dancers who combined technical proficiency with expressive artistry. Each got their start training in ballet but found their fame in the less classical milieu of Broadway – Rivera with the big and kinetic way she used her entire body, Battle with his precise and passionate approach to tap. Rivera was a sublime diva who became a household name; Battle was a beloved collaborator who played a dancing demon on the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Both are irreplaceable.

Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture


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