Rita. Moreno. Is. A. Legend.
As if we weren't already deeply in love with this rainbow unicorn of a human being—a dance and film icon probably best known for her epic, Oscar-winning performance as Anita in the film version of West Side Story—her appearance at last night's Academy Awards made us fall even harder.
Why? Oh, let us count the ways.
Nope, there's still no Oscar for Best Choreography—but thanks to your votes, we now get to reveal the winner of our own Dance Spirit award for best cinematic choreography of 2017. Though we're big fans of all four of the nominated choreographers, and think each one deserves to be acknowledged for their contributions to some of our favorite films this year, there can only be one winner. And that is...
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
We've decided to create a Dance Spirit award for the best cinematic choreography of 2017. With your input, we've narrowed the field to four choreographers whose moves lit up some of the best movies of the year. Check out our nominations for best choreography below—and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. We'll announce the winner on Friday, March 2.
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?
We're going to take a minute off from obsessing over WHAT THE HECK WENT DOWN during the Best Picture award presentation last night (seriously, how did that happen?). Because while that'll be the moment most people remember from the 89th Academy Awards, we need to recognize the actual best moment of the evening. And that would be its first one: Justin Timberlake, in perfect form, opening the show with a delightfully dance-y rendition of "Can't Stop the Feeling!"
(In case you're one of the three people who need a "why" for a JT performance, the song was, in fact, nominated for an Oscar. It was featured in Trolls.)
It's pretty unusual for a musical performance to open the Oscars, rather than some kind of skit or monologue by the evening's host. But kudos to whoever gave this new route the green light. Because there are few better ways to shake the stiffness out of a sometimes very stiff ceremony than to have our favorite *NSYNC alum and a group of a-list dancers boogie down the aisles of the Dolby Theatre.
TL;DR: The whole thing made us want to dance, dance, dance, c'mon. And we weren't alone...
Before we get to the highlight of last night's Academy Awards, we need to say: Congrats to Idina Menzel and the writers of "Let It Go"—this year's Best Original Song.
Sing it, Idina. (photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
But honestly, we really just want to talk about "Happy," which was also a nominated for Best Original Song.
Full disclosure: We realize we've been a little bit obsessed with Pharrell Williams' hit song lately. We just can't help but get behind a song that's encouraging people everywhere to dance.
And Williams' performance at the Oscars last night did not disappoint. From a stage filled with talented performers of all ages (shout out to Comfort Fedoke!) to the movie stars themselves—everyone was doing the "Happy" dance.
(Photo by Getty Images)
But the highlight of the performance had to be when Williams hopped off the stage to dance with three of Hollywood's brightest—Lupita Nyong'o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. And dang, did they show their stuff.
Lupita Nyong'o—Best Supporting Actress, best dressed and best danced. (Photo by Getty Images)
Who knew the 18-Academy-Award-nominated actress knew how to shimmy? (Photo by John Shearer/John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Bold moves, Amy Adams, bold moves. (Photo by John Shearer/John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Missed last night's performance? Catch the entire video here:
Have a very "Happy" Monday!
OK, so you've actually already "met" him—several times. He's the Tony-winning choreographer responsible for Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé's epic musical number at the 81st Academy Awards (which earned him an Emmy, making him a Tony- and Emmy-winning choreographer). He's also the man behind last year's dance-tastic Oscars ceremony and NBC's The Sound of Music Live!...
It's Rob Ashford!
Rob Ashford accepts his Tony for best choreography in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002 (photo via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
This guy's known for getting non-dancers to shake it. (Exhibit A: He had Daniel Radcliffe pirouetting in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.) So just imagine what he can do with a fellow dance aficionado like Ellen!
Unfortunately, when it comes to spilling the deets on this evening's performances, Ashford's keeping his lips sealed. Sigh. Suppose we'll just have to tune in tonight to find out!
In the meantime, here's a clip of Ashford's Emmy-winning choreography from the 2009 Oscars to tide us over:
In case we haven't mentioned it recently, we love Ellen Degeneres.
And with the 86th Academy Awards just one week away, we're getting pretty anxious to find out what dance-tastic surprises this second-time host has in store for us. Last year's show (somewhat surprisingly) did not disappoint on the dance front—so, needless to say, we've got high expectations.
If Ellen's Oscars trailer (choreographed by none other than tWitch Boss) isn't enough to remind us that we're in good hands, hopefully her quirky and dance-filled Beats commercial will do the trick:
Yep, that's right: Ellen's always just lookin' for some music to groove to.
And with some of the most-ever-talked-about nominees for Best Original Song this year (umm "Happy" please?), we feel pretty confident Ellen will find her jam at the 86th Academy Awards.