December 10, 2018


BEHIND THE SCENES AT DANCE FOR DEMOCRACY VIDEO SHOOT


Member Antonio Martinez is a master of social media and communication. He faithfully posts his projects, always careful to tag Answers4dancers. So when Antonio was featured in a behind-the-scenes video for the Dance For Democracy (D4D) campaign, he captured our attention.

Antonio is repped by McDonald Selznick Associates in Los Angeles and we learned that MSA Founder and Senior Agent as well as trailblazing visionary Julie McDonald was the force behind the entire project. Julie shared with us how it all unfolded:

D4D was actually my brainchild and I produced the video with a wonderful producer named Pam Tarr who deserves quite a bit of the credit. She brought in an incredible post production company, Spot Welders, and iconic video Director, Sam Bayer. The song is an original by recording artist Macy Gray.

And while this project was originally focused on the November mid-term elections, the message is so important that a second video was released featuring Antonio who shares how he got involved:

I had met Keith Young on a recent Cadillac commercial MSA booked me on! I was a salsa dancer for this national spot. Because it was so easy working with Keith, and because he knew I was versatile, he asked me to be a part of Dance For Democracy! Of course I said yes without hesitation!

Antonio continues, All of the choreography was taught and performed on the same day. Literally ... all of what you see in the video was created through teamwork and structured improv, then solidified right before taping. The project turned out great and I am beyond thankful to Julie for all her hard work!

The dancers featured in the video along with Antonio include A4D member Emmy Frevele, William Bell, Owen Scarlett, Destiny Gin, Savannah Le, Giselle Mafud, Kendie Jones, Parker Blakely, and Chase Anodson.


WATCH THE DANCE FOR DEMOCRACY VIDEOS HERE & READ THE FULL STORY >
 

Correction: In a recent DanceBlast issue, we credited Vincent Paterson as the choreographer of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Beat It. Michael Peters was actually the choreographer and Vincent was the assistant for these two projects. 


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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK


What's the best way to approach your social media posts when it comes to your career? One of SYTYCD top finalists, A4D’s Kate Harpootlian, is a master at keeping herself front-and-center. Her posts on FaceBook and Twitter are more than fun and uplifting. Wisely, Kate includes praise for friends like Travis Wall's Emmy win, the amazing makeup team on SYTYCD, over-the-top fashion statements. Check out 'HOW 2 STAND OUT' to learn from Kate. Use this image below to read more.


DANCING WITH THE STARS JUNIORS: THE SEMI-FINALS & WHO IS SENT HOME?
sytycdjudgesThe four remaining couples had to perform twice this week.They had an individual routine in a new style and then they were paired up with another couple for a Team Dance. The show began with a perfect scoring routine from Mackenzie Ziegler and Sage Rosen (Team Gleb) with a strong Paso Doble set to The Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga. All season the judges have criticized the pair for holding back and they fought back to earn three 10’s. Skateboarding sweetheart Sky Brown and pro partner JT Church (Team Alan) were next with an Argentine Tango set to Thunder by Imagine Dragons. They also had a strong score, just one point shy of perfection. Miles Brown and Rylee Arnold (Team Lindsay) had an amazing Cha Cha routine to Shake Senora by Pitbull featuring T-Pain and Sean Paul. They earned 28 points and tied with Ariana Greenblatt and partner Artyon Celestine (Team Brandon) with an adorable Foxtrot to We’re All in This Together from High School Musical. The Team Dances paired up two couples. The first was Mackenzie and Sage teamed with Miles and Rylee. Their Samba-Jazz Fusion to Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus received a perfect score. And Ariana and Artyon along with Sky and JT had a Jive-Foxtrot Fusion set to 3-6-9 by Rhett George. At the end of the night, all four couples stood in the spotlight waiting to see which couple was going home just one week short of the finale. Turns out, nobody was sent home. Next week will end with the awarding of the Mirrorball Trophy.

 

HAMILTON’S CREATIVE TEAM, CHER & MORE RECEIVE 41ST ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
tony winsOn December 2, 2018, the Kennedy Center held its 41st annual national celebration of the arts. Hamilton creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire received received a unique Kennedy Center Honors as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category. The Tony winners were honored alongside music icons Cher (whose story is currently represented on Broadway with The Cher Show) and Reba McEntire, jazz musician Wayne Shorter, and composer Philip Glass, who composed an original score for Broadway's upcoming King Lear. The night was hosted by Gloria Estefan and featured performances by Kelly Clarkson, Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth, opera diva Renee Fleming, Tony winner Cyndi Lauper, Hamilton original cast members Phillippa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Renee Elise Goldsberry. Be sure to watch the full broadcast of Kennedy Center Honors an Wednesday, December 26 on CBS with a two-hour prime time special broadcast.

 

TONY NOMINEE ROBERT FAIRCHILD TO MAKE FEATURE FILM DEBUT AS MUNKUSTRAP IN CATS FILM
promRobert Fairchild, the acclaimed Tony-nominated leading man of Broadway's An American in Paris, has been cast as Munkustrap in the movie musical adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. Cats will mark the major motion picture debut of Fairchild, who earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway bow as Jerry Mulligan in An American in Paris, later reprising his turn in London. A former New York City Ballet principal dancer, Fairchild's other stage credits include Brigadoon and Frankenstein. Fairchild joins a cast that includes Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Steven McRae, Francesca Hayward, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Laurie Davidson, and Jason Derulo. Tom Hooper will direct and Andy Blankenbuehler will choreograph the film scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.

 

DESTINY’S CHILD’S MICHELLE WILLIAMS RETURNS TO BROADWAY IN ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
promMichelle Williams, the singer who rose to fame with the group Destiny's Child, stepped into the role of Erzulie in Michael Arden's celebrated Broadway revival of Once On This Island on November 30. Williams replaced Darlesia Cearcy, who played her final performance in the role on November 28. Williams is a Grammy winner of Destiny's Child who made her Broadway debut in Aida. She has also been seen onstage in the revival of Chicago and on tour in Fela! and The Color Purple. Once On This Island is the winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. It features choreography by Camille A. Brown.

 

TONY-WINNING ONCE ON THIS ISLAND REVIVAL ANNOUNCES FINAL PERFORMANCE
DEH castingThe 2018 Tony-winning revival of Ahrens & Flaherty's Once On This Island has announced a final performance date of January 6, 2019 at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, the production began previews on November 9, 2017 and officially opened on December 3. By closing, Once On This Island will have played 29 previews and 458 regular performances. Once On This Island features choreography by Camille A. Brown and musical supervision by Chris Fenwick.

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Tickets are now on sale for Moulin Rouge! The Musical, set to arrive at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre beginning on June 28, 2019 with an opening night set for July 25. The main-stem bow of the musical based on Baz Luhrmann's 2001 motion picture follows an acclaimed pre-Broadway premiere at Boston's Colonial Theatre. Moulin Rouge! The Musical features a book by John Logan, direction by Alex Timbers, and choreography by Sonya Tayeh

DEAR EVAN HANSEN TO BECOME FEATURE FILM
visit repriseTony-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is set to become a feature film. Tony winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul sold the musical's rights to Universal Pictures with Marc Platt and Adam Siegel producing through Marc Platt Productions. Dear Evan Hansen's Tony-winning book writer Steven Levenson is set to write the script for the movie and executive produce alongside Pasek and Paul. Stephen Chbosky, known for bringing movie musicals Rent and Beauty and the Beast to life may direct. The current Broadway cast of Dear Evan Hansen is led by Taylor Trench, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Michael Park, Lisa Brescia, Phoenix Best, Sky Lakota-Lynch, Alex Boniello, and Mallory Bechtel.


CODY SIMPSON JOURNEYS INTO ANASTASIA ON BROADWAY
kelli katePopular Australian singer Cody Simpson joined the company of the Broadway musical Anastasia as leading man Dmitry on November 29. He replaced Zach Adkins, who played his final performance at the Broadhurst Theatre on November 25. Anastasia marks Simpson's Broadway debut. He first arrived onto the music scene in 2009 after being discovered and signed by Atlantic Records. He has gone on to release multiple records, touring with Justin Bieber and creating his new band, Cody Simpson & The Tide. Simpson recently performed for the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace and spoke at the United Nations Ocean Conference as the UN Development Program's Ocean Advocate. Anastasia is directed by Darko Tresnjak and features choreography by Peggy Hickey.
 

LAST DANCE: SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL TO END BROADWAY RUN
super waitressThe new Broadway bio-show Summer: The Donna Summer Musical has set a final performance date of December 30. Directed by Des McAnuff, the jukebox tuner began previews on March 28 and officially opened on April 23. By closing, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will have played 27 previews and 289 regular performances. Summer will launch a North American tour on September 30, 2019, playing cities across the U.S. and Canada. Featuring a score with more than 20 of Summer's classic hits including Love to Love You, Baby, Bad Girls, and Hot Stuff, the musical is a tribute to the voice of a generation. The show features choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

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Stage and screen favorite Darren Criss has been named one of Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of 2018. He made a splash when he nabbed an Emmy for his performance on American Crime Story: Assassination of Gianni Versace on FX... Steven Spielberg's West Side Story film adaptation is well on its way to hitting the screen. The production is launching a national search for the pivotal character of Maria with auditions in Puerto Rico this month. They are also accepting online submissions… 

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