Let it gooooo! The much-anticipated musical version of Frozen, with choreography by the fabulous Rob Ashford, opens on Broadway tonight. And to get you even more excited about this latest dancy Disney venture, the show's team just released a brand-new trailer—a sneak peek at how they've translated the film's special magic into perhaps-even-more-impressive stage magic.
Sofia Wylie might be best-known for playing Buffy in the hit Disney Channel show "Andi Mack," but it's her dancing that originally propelled her into the spotlight. Even before her breakout role, the Arizona native had an enviable resumé that ranged from dancing on tour with Justin Bieber to performing at Radio City Music Hall. Stints on TV shows like "America's Got Talent" and "So You Think You Can Dance" gave her way more visibility in the industry, which in turn brought more opportunities her way.
Now Wylie's an up-and-coming celeb hoping to use her platform to boost the careers of other dancers. Her new YouTube dance series is one of her attempts to give back to the dance community. "My goal is to help dancers get that look that might help them book their next big break," Wylie says. One of the most popular videos from her series is a dance tribute to the hit film The Greatest Showman, featuring dancers from Utah to California, which has already garnered over 150,000 views. Wylie's videos seem to be producing the outcome she's been hoping for because a number of dancers have obtained dance gigs as a result of the exposure her videos brought them. "There are so many amazing dancers and sometimes all they need is a chance to be seen," she says.
And even though Wylie's acting career keeps her busy, she remains committed to her dance roots. We caught up with Wylie to find out how her dancing has influenced her acting and get her audition advice.
Often, Disney princesses get flak for being weak and passive as they wait to be rescued by their princes. But Scott Winn's video of Belle and Elsa breaking it down in a fierce dance battle gives these princesses some serious street cred.
It doesn't hurt that a few of the best dancers in the biz are featured in the playful parody. "Step Up: High Water" star Jade Chynoweth might initially be hard to recognize under that Belle wig, but once the dancing starts, her high energy and show-stopping moves make her easy to identify. And "Glee" standout Haylee Roderick, as Anna, brings some high-caliber technique to the spoof as well.
When we first heard about Disney's live-action film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, we honestly weren't sure what to expect. Would it bear any resemblance to the ballet story we know alllllllll too well? Would it be light and fun, or dark and dramatic? Most importantly, would it involve dancing?
Well, the first trailer for Disney's Nutcracker has arrived, and it appears that the answers to those questions are 1) barely, 2) the latter, and 3) YES—more specifically, dancing by the one and only Misty Copeland. 🙌 🙌 🙌
Back in the early '90s, "The Mickey Mouse Club" show on the Disney channel helped launch the careers of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and would-be ballet dancer Ryan Gosling, to name just the danciest few. (And back in the '50s—more than 60 years ago!—the original "Mickey Mouse Club" show started the M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E phenomenon.) Now, Disney is relaunching "MMC" as Club Mickey Mouse, a Facebook- and Instagram-exclusive series that'll be taking over your feeds for the next seven weeks. And the latest Mousketeers? They are a verrrrry impressive bunch.
It was just announced that Disney is going to make live-action versions of both The Lion King and Aladdin, two animated movies that defined a big ol' chunk of our childhood. (Seriously: Soooo many long car trips were saved by listening to cassettes—cassettes!—of those soundtracks on repeat.) That's happy but not necessarily surprising news: Disney's already given us live-action takes on Cinderella and The Jungle Book; the real-people Beauty and the Beast is coming in just a few months; and a live-action Mulan is in the works, too.
But here's the thing about Aladdin and The Lion King: Fabulous musical versions of those stories are currently blowing up Broadway. And a HUGE part of their Great White Way success is due to the fantastic choreographic minds of Garth Fagan (Lion King) and Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin).
A scene from the musical version of Aladdin. How amazing would this choreo look on the big screen?? (Photo Deen van Meer/Disney)
Soooo, Disney: Can we get a little Broadway-Hollywood crossover action here, and bring Fagan and Nicholaw on board the film projects? That'd be a win-win scenario—the movies would benefit from the genius of these two world-class pros, who already have oodles of experience with these stories, and Fagan and Nicholaw's work would get large-scale exposure. Pretty please?
There's about to be a new Nutcracker in town—and by "in town," I mean "in movie theaters."
This weekend, it came out that Disney is developing a big-screen version of the holiday classic. But if you're imagining animated mice and snowflakes and sugar plums—or an expanded version of the vaguely creepy Fantastia "Nutcracker" sequence, with its dancing mushrooms—think again. Instead, the new project, titled The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, will be a live-action film directed by Lasse Hallstrom.
Hallstrom is the guy behind films like What's Eating Gilbert Grape and The Cider House Rules, which aren't exactly light, kid-friendly fare. So this Nutcracker might be more shadowy than your average ballet company's production. (It sounds like the script will draw from E.T.A. Hoffman's original story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, more heavily than most ballets do—and good grief, that story is all kinds of intense.)
But...will there be any dancing involved? Will we hear bits and pieces of Tchaikovsky's score? Will this Nutcracker movie be as terribly terrible as The Nutcracker in 3D, which even Elle Fanning couldn't save? Will the film siphon audiences away from ballet productions, or will the whole thing be good for the ballet world? Will Macaulay Culkin make a cameo?? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
They can't get rid of the snow scene...can they? (New York City Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Photo by Paul Kolnik.)
No cast or release date info yet, but we'll keep you posted!