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Choreographers and Their Work, Then and Now

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Didn’t Spencer Liff also choreograph Hedwig and the Angry Inch? I was just watching YT videos on the play, and I could have sworn NPH mentioned him.

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On 4/5/2018 at 7:07 PM, Sharpie66 said:

Didn’t Spencer Liff also choreograph Hedwig and the Angry Inch? I was just watching YT videos on the play, and I could have sworn NPH mentioned him.

Technically, Spencer Liff is credited as "musical staging" for Hedwig (not choreographer). He has been referring to Head Over Heels as the first original Broadway show he has choreographed (see below). The other shows he has choreographed on Broadway were revivals (Falsettos and Spring Awakening). Hedwig wasn't a revival per se since it had never played on Broadway before, but it had been done off Broadway as well as in the West End).

I attended opening night of Head Over Heels and it was really fun!

Fun fact #1: Ellenore Scott was the associate choreographer for Head Over Heels! She was the assistant choreographer for Falsettos so apparently Spencer likes working with her. She was also the assistant choreographer for the Cats revival which features several SYTYCD dancers (Ricky Ubeda, Jess LeProtto, Jakob Karr, Zachary Downer).

Fun fact #2: Sonya Tayeh was the choreographer for the original version of Head Over Heels when it played at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015.

On 3/5/2018 at 12:52 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Spencer Liff just finished his first week of rehearsals with the Head Over Heels cast! The show opens in San Francisco next month.

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Yay, Ellenore! I was just recently watching vids from that season, and she really shines in a group of fantastic dancers. 

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4 hours ago, Sharpie66 said:

Yay, Ellenore! I was just recently watching vids from that season, and she really shines in a group of fantastic dancers. 

I didn't even notice her in the photo above when I originally posted it but once I saw her name in the program, I was like DUH!

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5 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I didn't even notice her in the photo above when I originally posted it but once I saw her name in the program, I was like DUH!

Oh my, YES!  I looked at her the first time and didn't recognize her either.

Thanks for all the esoteric info, @ElectricBoogaloo

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Last November, Janet Jackson invited a bunch of her former backup dancers to perform with her when her tour was in Los Angeles (at the Hollywood Bowl). Jenna Dewan posted a video about it and you can see Tasty Oreo in the rehearsal footage as well as onstage during the show!

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I've never really paid attention to Jenna Dewan much, but I loved her "family" treating her like nothing special. 

Dog: Do something useful and throw this stick

Her other child: Dance with Meeee.

 

Tasty didn't bug me in this.  Wow.

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5 minutes ago, Anothermi said:

I've never really paid attention to Jenna Dewan much, but I loved her "family" treating her like nothing special. 

Dog: Do something useful and throw this stick

Her other child: Dance with Meeee.

 

Tasty didn't bug me in this.  Wow.

Probably because he didn't get to speak.

I loved those two moments too! The dog was like I don't know why you're sitting in here talking to yourself, but I brought you my stick.

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40 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Probably because he didn't get to speak.

Nail -----> Head!

(Thanks)

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On 7/8/2018 at 2:27 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Sonya talks about the Moulin Rouge musical (which begins previews next week!):

Thanks for bringing us the video.  I'm intrigued by the idea of Sonya being tied to a set of music that she did not select and which helps inform some of the direction of her choreography in ways we haven't necessarily seen much of on SYTYCD.  Very talented choreographer.  I'm so interested in seeing what her take is when choreographing within some lanes of conformity to styles, versus the generally wide open spaces and avant garde we have generally seen on the show.

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7 hours ago, Tikichick said:

Thanks for bringing us the video.  I'm intrigued by the idea of Sonya being tied to a set of music that she did not select and which helps inform some of the direction of her choreography in ways we haven't necessarily seen much of on SYTYCD.  Very talented choreographer.  I'm so interested in seeing what her take is when choreographing within some lanes of conformity to styles, versus the generally wide open spaces and avant garde we have generally seen on the show.

She has choreographed other musicals including an earlier version of Head Over Heels (the current Broadway version was choreographed by Spencer Liff), a Bruce Lee musical by David Henry Hwang starring Cole from S9, a Romeo & Juliet musical with the music of Jeff Buckley, and a regional production of Spring Awakening. 

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14 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

She has choreographed other musicals including an earlier version of Head Over Heels (the current Broadway version was choreographed by Spencer Liff), a Bruce Lee musical by David Henry Hwang starring Cole from S9, a Romeo & Juliet musical with the music of Jeff Buckley, and a regional production of Spring Awakening. 

Oh, I know she has been quite in demand and that has taken her away from appearing on the show as frequently.  I was referring to the bulk of her body of work that has been featured on the show, which has largely stayed within a lane.  As a TV viewer of her work I'd be interested in seeing what she does when she doesn't have music, costuming or lighting input, forcing her out of that lane the TV audience has grown accustomed to.

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41 minutes ago, Tikichick said:

Oh, I know she has been quite in demand and that has taken her away from appearing on the show as frequently.  I was referring to the bulk of her body of work that has been featured on the show, which has largely stayed within a lane.  As a TV viewer of her work I'd be interested in seeing what she does when she doesn't have music, costuming or lighting input, forcing her out of that lane the TV audience has grown accustomed to.

Sorry, I just meant that since she has choreographed other musicals in the past, she has already dealt with using music and costumes that were not of her choosing (unlike on SYTYCD where the choreographers have a lot more choices with both music and costumes - most of the time it seems that they are given carte blanche to do whatever they want in both areas). I'm just waiting to see if she manages to work in the upside down bicycling flexed feet in the air move into Moulin Rouge.

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Sorry, I just meant that since she has choreographed other musicals in the past, she has already dealt with using music and costumes that were not of her choosing (unlike on SYTYCD where the choreographers have a lot more choices with both music and costumes - most of the time it seems that they are given carte blanche to do whatever they want in both areas). I'm just waiting to see if she manages to work in the upside down bicycling flexed feet in the air move into Moulin Rouge.

She does indeed like to cycle in her lane.

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Spencer Liff discusses how he became a choreographer on SYTYCD. He also talks about his first experience working on the show (including how the producers micromanaged everything):


He also discusses choreographing the Go-Go's Broadway show Head Over Heels:

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3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Spencer Liff discusses how he became a choreographer on SYTYCD. He also talks about his first experience working on the show (including how the producers micromanaged everything):

 


He also discusses choreographing the Go-Go's Broadway show Head Over Heels:

 

You must have been reading my mind.  During last night's show I was just wondering where he's been, and if he's fallen out of the good graces of TPTB. 

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Stacey Tookey choreographed and directed the video for the Ingrid Michaelson/Leslie Odom, Jr. cover of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (which was shot in one take!). The dancers are Chantel Aguirre and Ehizoje Azeke.

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Are there any choreographers that you'd like to see on SYTYCD? I am curious about following more choreographers at least via their videos on YT, because the ones that regular SYTYCD are just getting stale.

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Britney Spears Musical Once Upon a One More Time Sets Pre-Broadway Run in Chicago - Keone and Mari are choreographing the show!

Quote

A new Broadway-bound musical comedy based on classic fairy-tale stories and set to the smash-hit music of Grammy-winning superstar Britney Spears will have its world premiere this fall at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago. Titled Once Upon a One More Time, the musical will begin previews on October 29 with an opening night of November 13 for a limited engagement through December 1, before heading to Broadway.

"I'm so excited to have a musical with my songs—especially one that takes place in such a magical world filled with characters that I grew up on, who I love and adore," said Spears. "This is a dream come true for me!"

In Once Upon a One More Time, Cinderella, Snow White and the other fairytale princesses gather for their book club when a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps, spurring a royal revelation.

The musical features an original book by Jon Hartmere (The Upside, Bare) with direction by Tony nominee Kristin Hanggi (Rock of Ages) and choreography by Keone and Mari Madrid (Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself"; "World of Dance").

A previously in-the-works Britney Spears musical was to be directed by two-time Tony winner Jerry Mitchell.

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Warren Carlyle is choreographing the Broadway revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman! It's set to begin previews in September 2020 so I'm not sure how much that will affect his availability for SYTYCD. I'm guessing that he will have time to do a few numbers for S16 this year if he wants to, but he definitely will not be able to do S17 if it airs in its usual summer spot since that will be way too close to the show opening (heh, that's assuming that the show gets renewed for S17!).

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On 3/15/2019 at 3:38 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Warren Carlyle is choreographing the Broadway revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman! It's set to begin previews in September 2020 so I'm not sure how much that will affect his availability for SYTYCD. I'm guessing that he will have time to do a few numbers for S16 this year if he wants to, but he definitely will not be able to do S17 if it airs in its usual summer spot since that will be way too close to the show opening (heh, that's assuming that the show gets renewed for S17!).

From your lips ...

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Warren Carlyle has been nominated for a Tony!

Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
Denis Jones, Tootsie
David Neuman, Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo, Ain't Too Proud

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On 3/11/2019 at 8:22 PM, displayname said:

Are there any choreographers that you'd like to see on SYTYCD? I am curious about following more choreographers at least via their videos on YT, because the ones that regular SYTYCD are just getting stale.

No takers? 😅

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