If Hollywood has a fairy godmother, she must be working overtime for the film Dreamgirls, as the holiday release boasts an unusual amount of good karma. From a wealth of early Oscar buzz and a cast and crew that gets along famously to dazzling choreography masterminded by Fatima Robinson, the Broadway production-turned-film appears slated for success.
Loosely based on The Supremes’ dramatic rise to fame, Dreamgirls has long been a fixture on the stage circuit. The original show (on Broadway from December 1981 to August 1985) won six Tony Awards and ran for 1,522 performances with its glitzy portrayal of an all-female pop trio in the Motown era. Stepping into roles originated by Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Holliday and Loretta Devine are Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson (“American Idol”) and Tony Award–winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, Or Change). Joining them are Hollywood heavyweights Jamie Foxx (as the group’s manager), Eddie Murphy (as headliner “Thunder” Early) and Danny Glover (as Early’s agent).
The Dream Team
Landing the choreography gig was no small accomplishment for Robinson (who also dances in the movie), as industry competition was stiff. During summer 2005, hopefuls submitted test tapes for the movie’s biggest dance number, “Steppin’ to the Bad Side.” Rather than accentuate the horns in the song, Robinson (who has never seen the musical) gave the dancers tambourines and incorporated a joyous and lively ambiance into the piece. “They loved the energy and how it morphed into a big, fun number with the dancers reaching to the sky,” she says of the choreography, which is inspired by the moves of the late ’60s and early ’70s and infused with pop.
After signing on, Robinson assembled her choreography team: long-time collaborators Aakomon “AJ” Jones and Eboni Nichols, as well as associate choreographer Joey Pizzi. Jones and Nichols had worked with Robinson on projects for artists like Prince and Nelly, while Pizzi, who danced in and was the associate choreographer of the film version of Chicago, brings a successful movie musical pedigree to the project. Says Nichols, “You dance your whole life waiting for [such] opportunities. This film will be monumental; I’ve had the chance to be part of history.”
Dance is a powerful form of expression, and Ahmad Joudeh is using its influence to promote peace.
The 27-year-old is a Palestinian refugee, whose decision to pursue his passion for ballet has made him the target of death threats from terrorist organizations. Despite the danger, Joudeh has decided to continue on his path as a dancer, using his performances as an opportunity to spread a message of peace and cultural awareness.
"Late Late Show" host James Corden was one of the many, many people shocked by President Trump's sudden decision to ban transgender people from the military yesterday. And he decided to voice his outrage in the way most likely to rile a President who's uncomfortable with anything "un-manly": through a big, beautiful, extra-sparkly song-and-dance routine.
In addition to training, competing and winning titles in just about every style you can think of, 13-year-old Kaylee Quinn is a regular on the sci-fi drama "Stitchers," playing the younger version of the show's main character. Her path in dance hasn't been without challenges, though. Last summer, Kaylee won the Hope Award at her regional Youth America Grand Prix, but wasn't sure she'd be able to compete at the NYC finals due to a broken foot. Patience paid off: With her doctor's blessing, Kaylee danced her variations in flat shoes and won the gold medal.
Week 2 of Misty Copeland as guest judge, week 2 of merciless cuts...How can the final episodes of "World of Dance" possibly live up to the sheer dramaaaaaaaaa of last night's episode? Well, based on the nail-biting results dished out by Copeland and Co. last night, the competition is only going to get fiercer from here. Without further ado, last night's results, as told by Kween Misty.
Every ballet dancer knows the time, sweat, and occasional tears the art form demands. But many non-dancers are clueless about just how much work a ballet dancer puts into perfecting his or her dancing. So when the mainstream crowd recognizes our crazy work ethic, we'll accept the round of applause any way it comes—even if it comes via four men in tutus. Yep, we're talking about "The Try Guys Try Ballet" video.