‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Choreography: Stories Soar With Savvy Staging

Group numbers kicked up energy

This show’s choreographers racked up multiple Emmy nominations. Sonya Tayeh, nominated for three pieces, says “One was my favorite … this desperate girl who couldn’t really come to terms with a broken heart, with a sinister man. … (The dancers) formed the piece so naturally I almost forgot how it was choreographed.”

Travis Wall says his routines presented “a lot of pretty pictures, very technical, very complex, but just really beautiful and not too flashy.”

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Mandy Jo Moore says “We had this crazy idea. …We wanted to cast shadows on to the back wall and add a multi-dimensional (look) to the storytelling. It ended up being a really beautiful way to light. We had to have these low front lights, and it was really important the dancers hit certain marks for it to happen.”

Napoleon D’umo says “The large group number had a lot to do with it. In general, we’ve been nominated for our storytelling, but these group numbers, they were literally high-energy, big visibility, a lot of fun.” Tabitha D’umo adds “Maybe it was a different side of us people haven’t seen and they appreciated the variety.”

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