Just this week, A4D’s Antonio Martinez performed with Taylor Swift and Brandon Urie on the Billboard Music Awards! Here’s the story as told by Antonio, who always leads with gratitude:
‘Thanks for allowing me to share my experience with other dancers.
The Taylor Swift performance at the Billboard Awards was a direct booking! It was definitely my reputation and reel that helped solidify the job for me. These video editing skills and the knowledge of how to showcase myself in reels were learned by being active on A4D! It was Grover Dale who pushed me to continue finding the “best edit” which is why I also landed MSA as my agency back in 2011!
Billboard rehearsals were 10 days of aerial creation, rehearsals, and camera blocking! We started with rehearsals in LA and were flown to rehearse in Vegas for the live show! Two of the rehearsals were without Taylor and the rest were with her! Tyce Diorio was our lead Choreographer with Melissa Garcia and Nolan Padilla as his Assistants and Tania Holt assisting in casting and leading the Umbrella Boys in Choreo ideas.
As a dancer/aerialist, this opportunity has demonstrated how much trust people have in me to deliver magic very quickly and efficiently! These kinds of direct bookings don’t happen overnight as it has taken patience and persistence to create this level of trust that my MSA agents and their clients now have in me.
MSA acts as more than my agents... they are my career coaches and friends... always guiding me, pushing me, and leading me in the best career choices! Jenn Proctor of MSA was the lead on this one for me. Jenn is always looking out for my safety and best interest, especially working with heights of this kind! The agent-client relationship is definitely teamwork and is based on trust and communication!
I met Taylor during rehearsals and got to take this photo with her on the day of the show! We had to keep everything secret so we were not allowed to take photos during the creative process. Taylor is so sweet and professional... always complimenting us and checking in with us! I really hope to work with her again really soon!
I was flying in a yellow umbrella wearing this blue suit!’
The Taylor Swift performance at the Billboard Music Awards already has nearly 20 million views… Congratulations to Antonio and thanks for setting a great example for other dancers who'd love to follow in your footsteps.
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
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WORLD OF DANCE WORLD FINALS… AND THE $1 MILLION WINNER IS… World of Dance left us wondering who would be the Wild Card pick at the end of last week. It turned out to be Unity LA. The other acts who performed in the World Finals were the Upper Team Division Champions, The Kings, along with Briar Nolet, Upper Division Champion; the VPeepZ, Junior Team Champs and contemporary sister duo Ellie & Ava. Before the competition began, dancers from previous seasons performed. Derek Hough danced with Charity & Andreas, along with Michael Dombrowski who all recently returned from the World of Dance tour. And even though Ne-Yo is recovering from a broken foot, he performed with Sean & Casey from last season along with Ian Eastwood from Season 1. Ne-Yo used a treadmill as part of the choreography. Finally, The Lab, the winners of Season 2, performed a tribute to Jennifer Lopez set to her hits. Then the final acts took center stage to receive their scores. Here’s how they ranked: Briar Nolet received scores of 92, 92, 94 = 92.7, VPeepZ earned 94, 91, 96 = 93.7, Ellie & Ava did very well with scores of 94, 95, 96 = 95.0, Wild Card performers Unity LA garnered a strong set of scores but fell short with 95, 94, 98 = 95.7, and with the only perfect score of the season, The Kings earned 100, 100, 100 and they took home the Million Dollar Prize! From the first time we met The Kings, the Mumbai dance troupe wowed us with strong performances and never before seen tricks. Their finale performance was no exception and they were the last act standing! Congratulations to all the dancers for another great season!
SPIELBERG-HELMED WEST SIDE STORY FILM WILL BE RELEASED ON DECEMBER 18, 2020 The Walt Disney Studios has revealed the highly anticipated Steven Spielberg film adaptation of West Side Story will debut on December 18, 2020. The new West Side Story will star Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, Baby Driver), and newcomer Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, along with some of Broadway's biggest stars. Also in the cast are Ariana DeBose (Hamilton, A Bronx Tale: The Musical, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) will star as Anita, David Alvarez (Billy Elliot: The Musical) will play Bernardo, and Josh Andrés Rivera (Hamilton) will play Chino. Tony winner Brian d’Arcy James (Hamilton, Sweet Smell of Success) will play Officer Krupke. Mike Faist (Dear Evan Hansen, Newsies) will play Riff, while Puerto Rican actress, singer, and dancer Ana Isabelle (Imprisoned, Strangers) will play Rosalia. Maddie Ziegler, Dance Moms alumnus and muse to Sia, has been cast as a member of the Jets. Finally, Rita Moreno, legend and EGOT, who played Anita in the original film, will be an executive producer this time around. She will also play a new character, Valentina, a revamped version of the character Doc from the stage and original screen version. Arthur Laurents wrote the book of West Side Story, which united two Broadway titans - Leonard Bernstein and director/choreographer Jerome Robbins.
THE BOOK OF MORMON SURPASSES GREASE AS 15TH LONGEST-RUNNING SHOW IN BROADWAY HISTORY The Book of Mormon made history last week. Reaching its 3,389th performance at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, the Tony-winning smash hit surpassed the 1972 original Broadway production of Grease as the 15th-longest-running Broadway show. Directed by Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker and featuring a book and score by Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon began previews on February 24, 2011 and officially opened on March 24, 2011. The show went on to win nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The current principal cast is led by Dave Thomas Brown as Elder Price, Cody Jamison Strand as Elder Cunningham, Kim Exum as Nabulungi, and Stephen Ashfield as Elder McKinley.
MAGIC MIKE WRITING TEAM DEPARTS MUSICAL DUE TO CREATIVE DIFFERENCES A planned workshop presentation of the upcoming musical Magic Mike was postponed this week due to the departure of the show's writing team. The exit of book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) and songwriters Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) due to creative differences. Trip Cullman remains as director of the musical, which will make its world premiere as planned at Boston's Emerson Colonial Theatre from November 30, 2019 through January 5, 2020. The new musical, set before the movies Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, tells the story of college-student-turned-male-entertainer Mike Lane. 2019 Tony nominee Camille A. Brown remains with the production as choreographer. Casting and the announcement of a new writing team is to come.
THE BAND’S VISIT WINS DAYTIME EMMY AWARD FOR TODAY SHOW PERFORMANCE The Band's Visit is still racking up awards. The original cast of the Tony-winning hit won a Daytime Emmy Award on May 3 for their live musical presentation on NBC's Today. The performance, which aired on the morning of the 2018 Tony nominations announcement, featured standout Adam Kantor with the company singing David Yazbek's soulful number Answer Me. Since that performance, The Band's Visit won 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, in addition to a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The musical concluded its Broadway run on April 7 in advance of a national tour. Joining Kantor's performance were fellow original Broadway company members Katrina Lenk, Tony Shalhoub, John Cariani, Ari'el Stachel, George Abud, Etai Benson, Andrew Polk, Bill Army, Rachel Prather, Jonathan Raviv, Sharone Sayegh, Kristen Sieh, Alok Tewari, Ossama Farouk, Sam Sadigursky, Harvey Valdes, and Garo Yellin.
The Book of Mormon made history last week. Reaching its 3,389th performance at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, the Tony-winning smash hit surpassed the 1972 original Broadway production of Grease as the 15th-longest-running Broadway show. Directed by Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker and featuring a book and score by Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone,The Book of Mormon began previews on February 24, 2011 and officially opened on March 24, 2011. The show went on to win nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical… The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan Markel) welcomed their first child they named a few days after his birth; Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor…
ALANIS MORISSETTE MUSICAL JAGGED LITTLE PILL SETS DATES & THEATER FOR BROADWAY PREMIERE Jagged Little Pill, the acclaimed new musical featuring the songs of Alanis Morissette, has booked the Broadhurst Theatre as its upcoming Broadway home. The transfer from a sold-out run at American Repertory Theater will begin Broadway previews on November 3 and open on December 5. Directed by Diane Paulus and featuring a book by Diablo Cody with additional music by Glen Ballard, Mike Farrell, and Guy Sigsworth, Jagged Little Pill tells an original story about a family grappling with uncomfortable truths. It is inspired by the themes and emotions laid bare in Morissette's Grammy-winning album that introduced beloved anthems including Ironic, You Oughta Know, and Hand in My Pocket. Jagged Little Pill will feature choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
DIANE PAULUS TO DIRECT NEW BROADWAY REVIVAL OF 1776 1776 is returning to Broadway. The Tony-winning musical about the events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence will arrive at the American Airlines Theatre in spring of 2021. Tony winner Diane Paulus (Waitress) will direct the new staging, a co-production between Roundabout Theatre Company and American Repertory Theater, where she is artistic director. The revival will first play A.R.T. from May 22 through June 28, 2020. Featuring a book by Peter Stone and a score by Sherman Edwards, 1776 explores the founding fathers as they battle out the question of independence and draft the declaration and give birth to a new nation. The original production opened in 1969 and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. In addition to directing Waitress, Paulus earned a Tony Award for her innovative revival of Pippin. This will mark the second Broadway revival of 1776. The first, a Tony-nominated 1997 production, was also produced by Roundabout.
DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER DAVID WINTERS DIES AT AGE 80 David Winters, a dancer who appeared on Broadway in the original production of West Side Story, who then turned choreographer, died on April 23 at age 80. One of Winters' most notable choreography works was the film Viva Las Vegas, starring Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley. He also worked as choreographer on the 1960s musical variety television shows Shindig! and Hullabaloo. Following his role of Baby John in the stage production of West Side Story, he took on the role of another Jet, A-Rab in the film version of the show. He went on to choreograph several other of Ann-Margret's films, as well as three other Presley movies. For television, Winters directed episodes of The Monkees, and worked multiple roles, including co-producer, director, and choreographer on Welcome to My Nightmare, a concert film version of Alice Cooper's stage show. Winters directed, produced, and choreographed Dancin': It's On!, a film that follows a romance within a dance competition, starring contestants from the television series So You Think You Can Dance.
The recent announcement of the 2019 Tony Awards nominations meant great news at the box office for a pair of productions competing in the category of Best Musical. The new juggernaut musical Hadestown posted a gross of $1,055,456 last week. The musical comedy Tootsie also had over $1,256,769 in ticket sales…
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NEW YORK CITY OPEN CALL DANCERS - MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2019 Dancers for RWS Contracts & Binder Casting Broadway • Commercials • Corporate Industrial • Cruise Ship • National Tour • Theme Park RWS Studios, 37-12 35th Street, Long Island City, Queens, NYC Sign-in will start at 8:30am. You will receive a group number and warm-up time as holding space is limited. Though it is our goal to accommodate as many Dancers as we can throughout the day, you are not guaranteed to be seen if you arrive later than 10am. There will be no callbacks held on this day.
RWS LONDON AUDITIONS - JUNE 17 & 18, 2019
For Holland America Cruise Line
Dancers • Singer/Dancers • Singers Who Move Well Pineapple Studios 7 Langley Street, Covent Garden, London JUNE 17 - Male & Female Singers: By Appointment Only
Dancers for Step One Dance Company Touring Contracts Pineapple Studios 7 Langley Street, Covent Garden, London JUNE 18 - Male & Female Dancers: Sign-In 9:30am, 10:00am Start See full auditions details by using image above.