Dani Spieler with Maria Briggs in costume for Cats

When new Cats swing Dani Spieler was dancing at Central Park Dance Academy as a kid, her teacher Maria Bai got her to realize how important ballet technique was to her future.

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Cats, the Tony Award–winning musical that rocked Broadway for 18 years, is returning to the Great White Way on August 2. Slated to choreograph is Tony Award–winner Andy Blankenbuehler (DT, Technique, February 2011) of Hamilton and In the Heights fame. His work will be modeled on Gillian Lynne’s original choreography.

Cats returns to Broadway after a 16-year hiatus. It closed in 2000 after more than 7,000 performances.

Based on the whimsical poetry of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and with an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats opened in 1982, winning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Photos (from top): courtesy of DKC/O&M; courtesy of Dance Magazine archives

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