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How Siouxsie and the Banshees Inspired Jenna Ortega’s Goth Dance in Wednesday

Along with Bob Fosse's The Rich Man's Frug, new wave singer Lene Lovich, and dance moves from the original Addams Family series

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wednesday goth dance netflix siouxsie sioux banshees
Wednesday (Netflix)

    Thanks to a delightfully aloof performance from Jenna Ortega, Netflix’s updated Addams Family adaptation Wednesday has been a runaway hit. In one unforgettable scene, Ortega’s Wednesday Addams lets her guard down for a bit and breaks out a series of impressive moves at the Nevermore Academy’s Rave’N dance.

    On Twitter, Ortega revealed the inspirations for her dance moves, citing “Siouxsie Sioux, Bob Fosse’s Rich Man’s Frug, Lisa Loring, Lene Lovich, Denis Lavant, and archival footage of goths dancing in clubs in the ’80s.”

    Sioux was the lead singer for Siouxsie and the Banshees, a British rock band that was a pivotal part of the goth-rock scene alongside groups such as The Cure, Joy Division, and Bauhaus. Meanwhile, Fosse choreographed a dance craze called The Rich Man’s Frug in the musical Sweet Charity and Lisa Loring played Wednesday Addams in the original 1960s show The Addams Family.

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    As for Lovich, she became a key figure in the new wave scene with UK hits like “Lucky Number,” “Say When,” and “Bird Song.” Lavant is a French actor known for dance sequences of his own, set to songs like David Bowie’s “Modern Love” and Corona’s “The Rhythm of the Night.”

    Watch Jenna Ortega’s ’80s-influenced goth dance from Wednesday in full below.

    Fans of the show also shared some of the homages to the 1960s original on Twitter, including nods to Loring’s Wednesday and John Astin’s Gomez Addams. See the screenshots below.

    In a behind-the-scenes video, the 20-year-old actor revealed that she actually choreographed the scene herself. “I actually felt really insecure about this,” Ortega told her castmates. “I think it’s very obvious that I’m not a dancer or choreographer.”

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    While speaking to Vulture, Ortega revealed that she worked with director Tim Burton to choose The Cramps’ version of “Goo Goo Muck” for the routine, which was created a few days before filming.

    Revisit our review of Wednesday here, in which Senior Staff Writer Clint Worthington described Ortega as “one of our most exciting younger stars,” adding, “She’s got the death-stare and disquieting posture of Wednesday down to a tee, and it’s a joy to see her iterate on what Christina Ricci and other Wednesdays before her have built.”

    You can also learn why Ortega intentionally doesn’t blink in the series.

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