You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Andy Blankenbuehler

Up next: Broadway's brightest

On paper, Andy Blankenbuehler isn’t an obvious choice to choreograph “In the Heights.” Set in a Latin neighborhood, the show bursts with hip-hop and salsa music, and he doesn’t have a background in either.

“When the producers asked why they should hire me,” he says, “I told them, ‘You don’t necessarily need a hip-hop expert. You need a storyteller.'”

Blankenbuehler is dedicated to helping dancers guide a narrative. He even left his performing career — which included several Broadway gigs — to help them do it. “I’m choreographing what I would have wanted to perform,” he says.

For “In the Heights,” he used eight months of research to blend everything from break dancing to ballet. Most pieces begin with naturalistic movement and then evolve into metaphors for the emotions of a scene.

“The show is about the value of diversity,” Blankenbuehler says, “and I try to embody that by showing a dancer’s personality through movement.”

More Scene

  • 'Game Night' film premiere

    'Game Night': Director, Writer Talk 'Straddling Genres' and the Influence of 'Get Out'

    On paper, Andy Blankenbuehler isn’t an obvious choice to choreograph “In the Heights.” Set in a Latin neighborhood, the show bursts with hip-hop and salsa music, and he doesn’t have a background in either. “When the producers asked why they should hire me,” he says, “I told them, ‘You don’t necessarily need a hip-hop expert. […]

  • Esquire 'Mavericks of Hollywood' party

    Terry Crews on His Sexual Assault Lawsuit: 'If I Don’t Get Justice, Nobody Can'

    On paper, Andy Blankenbuehler isn’t an obvious choice to choreograph “In the Heights.” Set in a Latin neighborhood, the show bursts with hip-hop and salsa music, and he doesn’t have a background in either. “When the producers asked why they should hire me,” he says, “I told them, ‘You don’t necessarily need a hip-hop expert. […]

  • 20th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards

    'I, Tonya,' 'The Shape of Water' Win at 2018 Costume Designers Guild Awards

    On paper, Andy Blankenbuehler isn’t an obvious choice to choreograph “In the Heights.” Set in a Latin neighborhood, the show bursts with hip-hop and salsa music, and he doesn’t have a background in either. “When the producers asked why they should hire me,” he says, “I told them, ‘You don’t necessarily need a hip-hop expert. […]

  • 'Atlanta' TV show premiere

    'Atlanta Robbin' Season' Will 'Show What Makes the City Tick,' Producer Says

    On paper, Andy Blankenbuehler isn’t an obvious choice to choreograph “In the Heights.” Set in a Latin neighborhood, the show bursts with hip-hop and salsa music, and he doesn’t have a background in either. “When the producers asked why they should hire me,” he says, “I told them, ‘You don’t necessarily need a hip-hop expert. […]

  • Mr Chow 50th Anniversary celebration

    Mr. Chow 50th Anniversary Party Draws Stevie Wonder, Heidi Klum & More Stars

    On paper, Andy Blankenbuehler isn’t an obvious choice to choreograph “In the Heights.” Set in a Latin neighborhood, the show bursts with hip-hop and salsa music, and he doesn’t have a background in either. “When the producers asked why they should hire me,” he says, “I told them, ‘You don’t necessarily need a hip-hop expert. […]

  • Paley Center for Media presents They

    African-American Showrunners Talk Strides in TV Representation

    On paper, Andy Blankenbuehler isn’t an obvious choice to choreograph “In the Heights.” Set in a Latin neighborhood, the show bursts with hip-hop and salsa music, and he doesn’t have a background in either. “When the producers asked why they should hire me,” he says, “I told them, ‘You don’t necessarily need a hip-hop expert. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content