Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

All That Jazz

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 21 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7122
  1. Desmond O’Neill, consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine, Dublin
  1. doneill{at}

Choreography is not, at first glance, a promising mode for exploring narrative medicine. Visions of tutus, fouettés, and dying swans do not immediately connect with the harsh realities of illness and suffering. However, dance is about more than classical ballet, and to pass over the stunningly choreographed finale of All That Jazz would be to miss one of the most powerful insights imaginable into the terror of heart attack and death.

This compelling musical film is a transparently autobiographical fantasy of the life of Bob Fosse, the enfant terrible of choreography in US musical theatre, best remembered for Sweet Charity …

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