Choreographers steal the spotlight

Panel opens up about the industry

The Choreography Media Honors, the award show without any awards, filled the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Friday night as choreographers from “High School Musical,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and the 81st Academy Awards took part in a lively panel discussion about dancing in the business.

Part of the eighth annual Dance Camera West Dance Film Festival, choreographer Daniel Ezralow (“Across the Universe”) served as moderator with panelists who included “High School Musical” producer Barry Rosenbush, production designer Mark Hofeling and co-choreographer Charles Klapow, “So You Think You Can Dance” director Matthew Diamond, choreographers Tyce Diorio, Tabitha and Napoleon, as well as choreographer Marguerite Derricks and producer John Palermo from the 81st Academy Awards opener that featured Hugh Jackman.

One of the night’s more memorable moments occurred when Palermo joked about his experience at the 81st Academy Awards, describing Derricks as “Cesar the Dog Whisperer” of dance as props and steps fell into place down to the deadline.

Derricks, now choreographing MGM’s “Fame” remake, laughed at the compliment. “(Palermo) was the calm, cool and collected one,” she said. “I was the girl in the back corner, freaking the f*** out!”