A choreographer’s life: The lure of laughter and tyranny

In Dance, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Touring by Andrew WrightLeave a Comment

Many moons ago I worked for a tyrant of a choreographer. Old school in their approach, demanding and brutal. They would have made Hitler look mild and compassionate by comparison.

I was part of a national tour and was very young and very eager. I had a very small solo in the production, it must have been all of about 20 seconds long. But as a wildly unexperienced dancer I decided to enhance it slightly as the tour went on. I used to get a little laugh doing one particular choreographic step so, unwisely I decided to embellish and give the section a little boost. I have always been a sucker for getting a reaction and a laugh, there is something ferociously addictive about it. It is true – I am a laughter addict!

Now imagine the scene – we were four months into the tour and my brief momentary solo had become a focus pulling blockbuster of 20 seconds! I was a terribly pleased with it and couldn’t wait for said choreographer to see the new improved version. The dance captain explained at the interval to wait at the pass door as the choreographer would like to see me after the performance. Not for one moment did I think it would be bad news. In fact, in my head I pictured them handing me a new contact and whisking me off to Broadway. This was sadly not the case…

Let’s just say there were no plane tickets to Broadway! They, quite rightly, completely and utterly crucified me for changing their work. I was devastated. I, of course, should have known better but was young and green and easily led by the lure of laughter.

Recently, I revisited one of my shows.  To my horror, I saw that my work had changed in one section and the actor had overtime also embellished my work! I was sat in the stalls raging with anger when suddenly it dawned on me how history seemed to be repeating itself right in front of my eyes. The choreographer in me was annoyed but the performer in me admired them!

I turned a blind eye for not wanting to appear hypocritical! After all, to be old and wise you must first have to be young and stupid!

 

8/5/16

 

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Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright is an award-winning choreographer, whose myriad credits from the West End, Chichester, Bath, Leicester and elsewhere, include: Mrs Henderson Presents, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, 42nd Street, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, High Society, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, Saturday Night Fever, A Little Night Music, Follies, Oliver!, The Showgirl Within, Almost Like Being In Love, Stepping Out, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, By Jeeves, I Sing and Soul Traders. He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour), for which he was nominated for Best Director/Choreographer in the Broadway World Awards 2014. Andrew was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed. He blogs at a-wright.com and tweets at @AndrewWright5.
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Andrew Wright on RssAndrew Wright on Twitter
Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright is an award-winning choreographer, whose myriad credits from the West End, Chichester, Bath, Leicester and elsewhere, include: Mrs Henderson Presents, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, 42nd Street, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, High Society, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, Saturday Night Fever, A Little Night Music, Follies, Oliver!, The Showgirl Within, Almost Like Being In Love, Stepping Out, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, By Jeeves, I Sing and Soul Traders. He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour), for which he was nominated for Best Director/Choreographer in the Broadway World Awards 2014. Andrew was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed. He blogs at a-wright.com and tweets at @AndrewWright5.

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