i'd like to honor those who have paved the way for all of us working as choreographers today.
growing up in the country in Ohio the only access i had to dance was on TV. i LOVED watching movies and escaping into an exhilarating world of fantasy. One of my favorite escapes was the mad genius of Mel Brooks and as i have learned the uber genius of
choreographer Alan Johnson
he is one to be honored, inspired by and cherished. Alan is an award winning choreographer, best known for his work on Mel Brooks films and for restaging Jerome Robbins' original choreography in live productions of West Side Story in the United States and internationally.
Julie McDonald, best known for being the first dance agent, says about Alan
"I think Alan is a choreography genius. It's hard to choreograph humor. No one does it better. He got the most astounding performance out of Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles, singing "I'm Tired". The Springtime for Hitler number from The Producers is iconic. How does one take such a sensitive topic (The Holocaust) and make it, well....hilarious? He and Mel Brooks were on the same page. The number he did for Ann Bancroft on a TV special showed off her extraordinary skills as a comedic actress through a dance number. Alan's choreography is stylish and elegant."
an amazing resource for our community is dance historian Larry Billman...click on his name to access rarely seen dance on film/TV footage and images.
here is a montage of the highlights of choreographer Alan Johnson's amazing career. Created for his Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Choreography Awards, this short film features his choreography for Mel Brooks' films, his Emmy award winning appearances, as well as his stage and commercial work
for inspiration and pure joy revisit one of his films...his credits include:
- Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
- History of the World: Part I (1981)
- The World's Greatest Lover (1977)
- Cos (1976) TV Series
- The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
- Young Frankenstein (1974)
- Blazing Saddles (1974)
- The Producers (1968)