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Ask a choreographer

Four members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visit the UK, 2nd April 1965.
Four members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visit the UK, 2nd April 1965.

You probably remember plenty of iconic dances.

Whether it’s the tilt from Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” or the way Beyoncé shows of her ring finger in “Single Ladies,” those essential moves come down to a specific role: the choreographer(s).

They’re the reason stars can give you a performance on stage, a crowd of dancers brings a song to life in sync, or two people glide across a ballroom in an intimate scene.

A couple of months ago the Choreographer’s Guild opened for membership. It would be the first labor organization for choreographers working in film and television — even though guilds like the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have been around since the mid-1900s.

For this installment of our “Ask A” series, where we talk to interesting people about what they do and why it matters, we speak to choreographers about what it’s like to work in the industry and what it means to bring something to life through dance. 

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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Jorgelina Manna-Rea