If he wins for “Annie Live!,” choreographer Sergio Trujillo will add an Emmy to his Tony Award. Trujillo wanted to make the classic musical accessible to a younger generation. With brand new dance arrangements and adding his own stamp on the moves, he worked with the cast and ensemble for five weeks, and although he approached it as if prepping for a Broadway show, he says, “I didn’t choreograph this piece to the stage. I choreographed it with the camera [in mind] and that was magical.”
Twelve-time Emmy nominee and three-time Emmy winner Derek Hough goes up against “Dancing With the Stars” in the choreography category; he’s nominated alongside fellow choreographer Tessandra Chavez for “Step Into … the Movies With Derek and Julianne Hough.”
Hough who is now tied with the legendary Debbie Allen for most nominations for choreography had 10 days to prep for the musical numbers paying homage to “La La Land,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Singin’ in the Rain.”
It wasn’t just the dance steps that needed coordinating, the music elements had to factor in, too.
“My friends did the music. I called them and said, ‘I need a full live band with strings, drums, background singers,’” Hough says.
When picking out the dance numbers, Hough says he initially selected relatively obscure tunes but quickly pivoted. “We chose pieces that everyone would know, but pieces from ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ numbers that changed film history.”