With the celebration of International Men’s Day on the 19th, this year we are giving you a round up of a few of our favourite Male choreographers from the past and the present! From UK choreographers such as Akram Khan to America’s Alvin Ailey, all these men have been influential in some way and are no strangers within the dance world.
As a big name in Contemporary Dance, London bred dancer and choreographer Akram Khan is still continuing to break conventions in the dance world. Exploring his Bangaldeshi descent through movement, Khan’s own company have performed all over the world, especially being famous for performing at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony - what an achievement!
To watch Akram and his company perform at the Olympics click here:
Having his own ‘Company Wayne Mcgregor’, UK based choreographer Wayne Mcgregor is also a very popular name in dance, and especially within Contemporary. Company Wayne Mcgregor is even the new resident company at Sadlers Wells, one of the most famous performance theatres in the UK. However, McGregor is now taking a different approach as a resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet, combining his knowledge of contemporary and working collaboratively.
You can watch a clip of McGregor’s choreography ‘FAR’ here:
Earning an OBE for his choreography, Matthew Bourne is one of the biggest contemporary dance choreographers throughout the UK and even tours the world. From turning the classic Ballet of ‘Swan Lake’ from a female corps-de-ballet to a whole male ensemble, Bourne broke conventions and continues to do so. His choreography is so well remembered that he has collected over 30 international theatre awards, one being an Olivier and even three Tony’s!
As a choreographer of Contemporary Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon is a very popular name within the art of Ballet. As an artistic associate of the Royal Ballet, Wheeldon’s most recent and popular work was ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’, which included many famous dancers. He also choreographs regularly for the Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet, taking his ideas all across the globe.
As the winner of ‘Got To Dance UK’ 2013, Lukas McFarlane is a Canadian dancer and choreographer, having worked with stars such as Taylor Swift and Celine Dion! His performances are so unique and full of emotion that he now even choreographs for contemporary performances on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in the UK - a massive show and a huge achievement in his career!
You can watch McFarlane’s choreography ‘HEADSPACE’ here:
If you are a big fan of SYTYCD USA, then you will know who Travis Wall is straight away! As an American contemporary choreographer, Wall was a contestant on the 2006 series of the show, and then went on to choreograph his own pieces. These included many on the show itself to choreographing and performing in New York City Ballet’s ‘Nuttin’ But Stringz’, which was performed with Principal Ballerina Tiler Peck. He even won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography - an amazing achievement!
As a very popular name in Dance, Merce Cunningham was one of the leading individuals to be in American Modern Dance throughout the 20th century. Founding the ‘Cunningham Technique’, dancers today are still using this, emphasizing bodily coordination, spacial awareness and much more.
Also breaking conventions, Alvin Ailey is most famous for founding the ‘Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’ in 1958. Being one of the most famous Dance Companies in the world, AAADT was one of the first touring multi-racial ensembles which was ground-breaking in the racial era of the 1950’s. One of his most famous performances was ‘Revelations’ which is still performed today, showing the troubles that Ailey had of being a Black African American, especially throughout his childhood.
You can see the full version of ‘Revelations’ here:
If West Side Story is one of your favourite films, then Jerome Robbins is to thank! As an American choreographer throughout the 20th century, Robbins worked on many Classical Ballet’s but then took his career towards well-known Broadway shows such as West Side Story, Fiddler on The Roof and even Peter Pan! Thanks to Robbins’ choreography and direction, all these musicals are still performed to this day.
To see the official Prologue of ‘West Side Story’ click here:
Being named as one of the most influential choreographers in the 20th century, Balanchine is no stranger to the dance world. Co-founding ‘New York City Ballet’, one of the most well-known Ballet companies in the world, Balanchine choreographed here for over 35 years and even created his own method of ballet training technique - ‘The Balanchine Method’. This focused on the upper body and very quick movements.
We really hope you enjoyed this small round up of a few of our favourite male choreographers for International Men’s Day, and can maybe even take some inspiration away for making your own dance pieces! If you would like to tell us who your favourites are then head over to our Instagram page @movedancewear as we would love to add to our favourites!