Whenever some music plays, our tapping of feet becomes unpreventable. The urge to not swing with the music seems to be untamed. The body by itself shakes and tunes down to the beats. The feeling to dance gets totally irresistible. We imitate the steps. But then there are people who “create” dance. People who have dance in their roots and soul, blood and heart are the designers of this beautiful art form. Dance choreographers as we may call them are the essence of this industry.
It’s time to applaud them! It’s time to know about them!
Here are the 10 Most Renowned International Dance Choreographers of All the Time!
10. Marius Petipa
Lived: March 11, 1818 – July 14, 1910
The name “Marius Petipa” is historical for being the most prominent ballet master and the leading ballet choreographer.
Marius Ivanovich Petipa from origin was a French ballet dancer, trainer and choreographer.
This amazing talent has earned over fifty ballets in his name. He breathed new life into the works of other Ballet masters. His stunning revival work grew to be the ultimate editions. The illustrious of them are Le Corsaire, Giselle, La Esmeralda, Coppélia, Swan Lake and more.
His works will continue to remain the soul of ballet choreography till eternity!
9. Martha Graham
Lived: May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991
What Picasso is to modern visual arts, Stravinsky to music, Frank Lloyd Wright to architecture, “Martha Graham” is to modern dance.
She devoted 70 years to dance and choreography. She crafted the “Graham technique” restyling American dance.
Her intense passion was the first dance performance at the White House. She journeyed abroad as a cultural ambassador and was given the highest civilian award of the US: the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Her dance inventions established the “Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance” in 1926 budding prominent choreographers of 20th and 21st centuries. Her choreography debut tracks down to be of 18 short solos and trios. Her statue stands respectably in the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame.
Her huge contribution for choreography got her the name of “Dancer of the Century” by Times magazine; Ford entitled her as “a national treasure” and female “Icons of the Century” by People.
Google’s logo was dedicated towards her masterwork at her 117th birthday!
8. Fred Astaire
Lived: May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987
Fred is the man of rhythm. For once the viewer might form an illusion that he danced in the air. Such was his smoothness!
His legendary work in “The Passing Show of 1918” won him accolades from the universe. His performance was magically spell-bounding at Broadway and the London stage shows.
Astaire became the talk of the world for his best tap dance.
He wowed all and to acknowledge him “Astaire Awards” were devised in 1982 to rewarded outstanding dancers (now “The Fred and Adele Astaire Awards”). He bagged “The Capezio Dance Shoe Award”. He was inducted into the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs and into the Ballroom Dancer’s Hall of Fame!
7. Agnes George de Mille
Lived: September 18, 1905 – October 7, 1993
Agnes, the prominent American dancer and innovative choreographer, accompanied American Ballet Theatre in 1939. Her choreography career flourished with Rodeo (1942). It was so swaying that she was signed-up for choreographing the musical show Oklahoma!
She amazed with her dozens of choreographies. The top-drawer were Bloomer Girl, Carousel, Brigadoon, Goldilocks, 110 in the Shade etc. Brigadoon won her Tony Award for Best Choreography.
She blended her acting skills with choreography phenomenally. She added beauty to performances with heartfelt messages. She was the first dancer to be the stage director and choreographer simultaneously in “Allergo” which went tremendously applauded.
She established “Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre” in 1973, revived as “Heritage Dance Theatre”. Her fervor for dance reflected in her public speaking advocating dance.
6. Katherine Dunham
Lived: June 22, 1909 – May 21, 2006
This lady’s proficiency in choreography can’t be put into words. Katherine had one of the most successful choreographic careers. She is distinguished as the “matriarch and queen mother of black dance” and “dancer Katherine the Great”.
Her “Katherine Dunham Dance Company” is unique, it being the sole self-supported American black dance troupe. More than 90 solo performances had the brilliance of her choreography.
Another triumph was the invitation from New York’s Metropolitan Opera to choreograph for Aida, making her first African-American to choreograph for the Met.
She has her own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. She earned the Heritage Award from the National Dance Association. In 2000 she made it to the “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition.
5. Jerome Robbins
Lived: October 11, 1918 – July 29, 1998
Jerome’s choreographic brilliance gained limelight at New York City Ballet, where he become the ace of ballet. His performance in Balanchine’s 1929 “The Prodigal Son” was terrific.
His unparalleled work in West Side Story (1961) co-awarded him as the Best Director Oscar. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented a tribute for his choreographic feat.
Only a perfection like his could fetch 5 Tony Awards, 2 Academy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, National Medal of Arts, an Honorary Membership in the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and more!
He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame and the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame.
There is also an award category in his name!
4. Bob Fosse
Lived: June 23, 1927- September 23, 1987
Bob, the superstar of choreography industry astounds us with his 8 Tony Awards for choreography and 1 Academy Award.
He both directed and choreographed a musical namely Redhead in 1960, winning him an award for the best choreography. All That Jazz (1979), his semi-autobiographical film stood victor of the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Fosse was the co-awardees of Laurence Olivier as the Best Theatre Choreographer.
He was inducted posthumously into the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame and the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. He is recognized as the member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
3. Alvin Ailey
Lived: January 5, 1931- December 1, 1989
The prestige of universalizing modern dance and African-American participation in concerts belongs to Alvin. His all-embracing international touring earned his company the title of “Cultural Ambassador to the World”.
Alvin’s choreography is magnum opus. His unification of ballet, modern dance, jazz and African dance techniques is faultless. Blues suite is his noteworthy work.
He is the Kennedy Center Honors awardee. President Barack Obama, in 2014 chose Alvin to be a posthumous receiver of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2012 he was inducted into the Legacy Walk! Also, a crater on Mercury is signed for him. The list of his awards is longer than your imagination!
2. Pina Bausch
Lived: July 27, 1940- June 30, 2009
Pina is the inspiration of choreographic mastery, especially for modern dance. Her “Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (de)” gave stirring performs internationally.
Her superlative work is the melancholic Café Müller (1978). This was matchless because Bausch made the dancers perform with their eyes closed.
She is the proud and deserving recipient of the UK’s Laurence Olivier Award, the Japan’s Kyoto Prize, the Deutscher Tanzpreis, the Europe Theatre Prize, Goethe Prize and what not!
The magic of her work mesmerized us in June and July 2012 at the Cultural Olympiad preceding the Olympic Games 2012 in London.
1. Shane Sparks
Born on: June 25, 1969
He is the new found love of the choreography world. He is gifted with exceptional style of dance. His novelty has thrilled not only the young but people of all the ages. He is a magnificent hip-hop choreographer. His “So You Think You Can Dance” got applauded crazily and immensely.
It was his suave nature and deep urge to revolutionize this industry that his choreographic class widened from three learners to an amazing one hundred and seventy-five people.
The accolades won by him are enough to speak and boast of his unbeatable skills!
All of them have reformed and redefined the choreography world. Their names and contributions are here to stay forever in our hearts!!!