Harry Hadden-Paton as Henry Higgins, Lauren Ambrose as Eliza Doolittle, and Allan Corduner as Colonel Pickering (Joan Marcus)

Secrets of Christopher Gattelli's "My Fair Lady" Choreo

In case you haven't heard, the classic musical My Fair Lady is back on Broadway in a 10-time Tony-nominated production—including a nod for Christopher Gattelli's critically-lauded choreography. (Fun fact: Also among the nominations is Gattelli's own choreography for SpongeBob SquarePants—he's so good that he's competing against himself! But I digress.)


The other week, BroadwayDirect spoke with Gattelli about making Eliza Doolittle and co. dance—and some seriously cool details emerged. For one, working with director Bartlett Sher, costume designer Catherine Zuber, and the rest of the creative team sounds like it was an absolute dream: "Everybody knows each other's language at this point," Gattelli told BroadwayDirect. "We jump on the ride together, we have each other's backs, and we can almost finish each other's sentences."

Another fun fact we learned: Coincidentally, two years ago Gattelli worked on the Sydney Opera House's re-creation of My Fair Lady's original 1956 Broadway production. "To reexamine something I thought I knew and see it in a completely different way has been a dream come true," he said to BroadwayDirect of going from that faithful re-creation to Broadway's re-imagined production.

Make that a very emotional dream come true. In this revival, the beginning of Act 2 sees a surprise appearance for the orchestra, which has remained hidden until that point. "When I saw [a rendering] of the orchestra on stage, I almost started crying at how beautiful it was," Gattelli told BroadwayDirect. What a perfect way to approach "setting up this world of elegance and class that Eliza is about to enter," as Gattelli put it, putting together the "Embassy Waltz" dance number that illustrates just how completely and irrevocably Eliza's life is changing.

If these details are giving you serious Broadway cravings, 1. Join the club, and 2. Watch the dreamy montage below for a few more glimpses at how Gattelli has made 1913 London move so beautifully on the Great White Way!

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Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

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Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

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Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


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