Have you noticed a brilliant ballerina chaîné-ing her way across your TV screen recently—transformed by a nifty virtual-reality overlay, and yet still verrrry familiar-looking?
Well, she's familiar-looking because she's none other than New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck. Peck's gorg dancing is the highlight of an epic new Dell Technologies ad that's been playing nonstop for the past week or so. And in further evidence that Dell has impeccable taste, Peck's steps in the spot come courtesy Mandy Moore.
The 2018 Oscar noms are here. Which is fun and all; we'll never not get excited about a night of glitz and glamor and, when we're lucky, pretty great dancing. But we'd be a heck of a lot more excited if the Academy Awards included a Best Choreography category. And really—why don't they?
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.
Congrats to this year's Outstanding Choreography Emmy nominees, announced yesterday morning in Hollywood! It's a pretty stellar list of names, with "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars" choreographers earning four of the category's five slots. (Rockstar Mandy Moore was actually nominated for her work on both shows. 🙌 )
If, like me, you've ever wondered (and wondered) how that stunning opening scene in La La Land came together, do we have a treat for you.
It's funny to hear the New York Times describe choreographer Mandy Moore as "not a household name"—because, in our dance universe, she's basically THE household name. But that's why we're excited the Times just put out a great profile of Moore, talking about her work on the drop-dead gorgeous song-and-dance film La La Land. If a major newspaper is talking about her, hey, she's one step closer to mainstream fame, which she richly deserves.
What makes the Times story especially fun? We get to hear more about how, exactly, she taught stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling to dance. Well, OK—she wasn't starting from square one, given Stone's star turn in the jazzy Cabaret on Broadway and the video evidence we have of baby Gosling's insanely adorable dance moves. But Moore had to bring out their Fred and Ginger side, a kind of graceful naturalism. That involved training them in the fundamentals of tap, ballroom and jazz. “I tried to instill a general love of learning how to dance in them, because I thought that that was going to go a lot further than just teaching them steps," Moore told the Times.
Other tasty nuggets: She played Frank Sinatra for Gosling's training sessions, and Haim for Stone's (lord, could Emma GET any cooler?). Moore's choreo inspirations for various scenes included "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story and "Rich Man's Frug" from Sweet Charity. Moore herself trained in belly dancing growing up, which is amazing.
It's the perfect read to get you through this pre-holiday hump day. And once you're done, go ahead and watch the La La Land behind-the-scenes featurette again, because you know you want to: