40 Years of Broadway:
Creative Influencers: 21 Choreographers
When crafting a new musical (and, increasingly, a new play), it is not just a director who guides and shapes a show, but it also depends on a choreographer to extend the emotional impact of the piece through dance and movement. One of the bigger things that has evolved over the past 40+ years is the integration of direction and choreography into a seamless whole. Think A Chorus Line, Cats and Grand Hotel as examples - where the staging ends and the dance begins is hardly recognizable. As a result, the director-choreographer hyphenate has become more prevalent.
Below is a list of those artists that had the biggest impact on my four decades of theater-going experience, and is not really complete. There are many others I could add, but I feel confident that these are a solid representation.
These marvels of the dance world had careers well before I first stepped foot in a Broadway theater. Their careers represent now recognizable styles that were groundbreaking at the time, and continue to influence choreography today. They are, indeed, masters of the dance.
Michael Bennett Graciela Daniele
Bob Fosse Gillian Lynne Tommy Tune
The Contemporary Choreographer
The 11 names on this part of the list represent those dance masters who came into their own and still contributed today to the ever-changing theatrical landscape, bringing up a new generation of dancers and future choreographers. After all, many of them started out as dancers themselves. Their diverse backgrounds have certainly impacted and broadened the definition of "Broadway" dancing.
Rob Ashford Warren Carlyle
Wayne Cilento Savion Glover Steven Hoggett
Bill T. Jones Rob Marshall Jerry Mitchell
Casey Nicholaw Susan Stroman Sergio Trujillo
New Voices - New Moves
Finally, these are the current generation of choreographers who have already made a name for themselves. Their modern perspectives have expanded the vocabulary of Broadway dance. Inclusion of contemporary styles to musicals has allowed steps and styles once found only on the streets, in clubs and the pop concerts have brought a new urgency and thrilling edge to the stage.
Andy Blankenbuehler Christopher Gattelli
Spencer Liff Sonya Tayeh Jennifer Weber
Contest Question #17:
All of the 2023 Tony Award nominees for Best Choreography made our list! Which one of them was nominated for two shows - & Juliet and KPOP?