#GoldenTicket: For Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's Associate Choreographer

Solomon (second from left) at the cast's album recording session. Photo courtesy of Solomon

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's associate choreographer Alison Solomon is no stranger to being part of a new Broadway production. From working as an associate on the revival of Gigi and Carol King's Beautiful to being Finding Neverland's assistant dance captain/swing, she knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a choreographer's right-hand Woman.


Dance Teacher: What does being an associate choreographer entail?

Solomon: Being an associate is a position of extreme balance between organization and creativity. I always have to be one step ahead. My eraser is my best friend as I track changes made throughout rehearsals and into tech and previews. This position requires an ability to read a room, to know when to step in and to be aware of and able to collaborate with all other departments. Working with this caliber of Broadway professionals makes for a quick process, and I love the pace and excitement that come with putting up a brand-new musical.

DT: What's it like working with Josh Bergasse?

AS: Working on Charlie with Josh has been a very inventive and exciting process. We have had the chance to include so many different genres of dance, from German slap dancing to ballet to puppetry—it's always an adventure! Josh is extremely collaborative, and I love that he really trusts me and encourages my creative input. It has been so exciting to be in the room, not only with Josh, but also with Jack [O'Brien, director] and Christian [Borle, Willy Wonka]. These three artists have such a long-standing relationship, which has made this experience truly feel like being a kid in a candy shop.

For more information, visit charlieonbroadway.com.

Teachers Trending
Evelyn Cisneros-Legate. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate is bringing her hard-earned expertise to Ballet West. The former San Francisco Ballet star is taking over all four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy as the school's new director.

Cisneros-Legate, whose mother put her in ballet classes in an attempt to help her overcome her shyness, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and School of American Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a full company member in 1977. She danced with the company for 23 years, breaking barriers as the first Mexican American to become a principal dancer in the U.S., and has graced the cover of Dance Magazine no fewer than three times.

As an educator, Cisneros-Legate has served as ballet coordinator at San Francisco Ballet, principal of Boston Ballet School's North Shore Studio and artistic director of after-school programming at the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dance Teacher spoke with her about her new position, her plans for the academy and leading in the time of COVID-19.

Keep reading... Show less
News
The author with Maurice Hines. Photo by Anthony R. Phillips, courtesy Hopkins

In March, prior to sheltering in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, my husband and I traveled from New York City to Miami to screen our award-winning documentary, Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, at the Miami Film Festival.

Our star, Tony Award–nominated dancer and choreographer Maurice Hines joined us in Miami for the festival—stepping and repeating on the opening night red carpet, sharing anecdotes from his illustrious seven-decade career with local tap students, and holding court at a cocktail mixer with lively female fans.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Haruko Photography, courtesy ABT

Gabe Stone Shayer may be American Ballet Theatre's newest soloist, but he never dreamed he'd be dancing with the company at all. Though he grew up in Philadelphia, his sights were always set on international ventures—especially The Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

Even in his early training, he was learning from Russian educators: Alexander Boitsov at Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, and Alexei and Natalia Cherov, from the Koresh School of Dance. At age 13, he transferred to The Rock School for Dance Education, where he danced until his acceptance to The Bolshoi Ballet Academy at age 14. At 16, Shayer returned to spend his summer in the States and attended ABT's summer intensive—fully intent on going back to Bolshoi to continue his training in the fall. Four weeks in, he was offered a studio-company contract. "I was so surprised," Shayer says. "Having come of age in Russia, I was very Eurocentric. Of course ABT was on my radar, I just never imagined it was for me."

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.