Ok Go dancing on scooters

Yesterday, MTV announced nominations for the network’s 2015 Video Music Awards, including five in the category of Best Choreography. Ryan Heffington (of Sia and Maddie Ziegler fame) made the list, not for his cage-fighting “Elastic Heart” video (though it was nominated in another category), but for his work with roller skaters in Chet Faker’s “Gold.” According to director Hiro Murai, they filmed the video during a 14-hour shoot on a dark road in California, meaning not—as I’d guessed—on a giant treadmill in front of a green screen. Either way, I’m impressed.

Also nominated:

  • Beyoncé’s "7/11" with Chris Grant’s and Beyoncé’s choreography sped up for a Charlie Chaplin effect.

  • "I Won’t Let You Down" by OK Go. Their latest eye-popping vid features some cool hands-free scooter moves and umbrella formations captured aerially by drone with the help of Japanese choreographer Air:Man.

  • "Never Catch Me" by Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar was nominated, with some cool, though dark, choreography on young dancers at a funeral, by Keone and Mariel Madrid.

  • And finally, NappyTabs (a.k.a. Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo) did the choreo for Ed Sheeran’s nominated "Don’t," starring Phillip "Pacman" Chbeeb and his otherworldly animation skills.

Winners will be announced when the VMAs air on August 30.

Choreographer Amy Hall Garner rehearsing with CPYB students as part of ChoreoPlan 2013

Outside of a classroom or university setting, it can be tough for aspiring choreographers to find opportunities to set and show their work in a nurturing environment. That’s why Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet has been hosting ChoreoPlan since 1998.

The school is now accepting applications (due August 1) from up-and-coming classical choreographers who want to create new work in a noncompetitive setting that values “process over product.” Under the direction of CPYB school principal Nicholas Ade, selected participants will spend two weeks (Jan. 19–31, 2015) setting new work on CPYB students. At the end of the program, dancemakers will present their pieces in a public performance. They will receive a monetary award as well as accommodations, transportation and per diem during the event.

“The setting eliminates the distraction of having their choreography scrutinized in order to be hired, or rehired, by a company,” said Ade in a statement. “It creates the opportunity for choreographers to test themselves and push their creative boundaries.”

Click here for more information or to apply.

Photo by Amy Spangler, courtesy of CPYB

The generosity of arts supporters allows dreamed-up ideas to come to fruition. Thanks to the gifts of two such unnamed donors, Rider University in New Jersey is now accepting submissions for its first-ever Emerging Choreographers Competition.

Any dancemaker 18 or older is invited to send in a video, the only stipulation being that he or she should be “emerging”: in the early stages of a choreography career. So don’t worry, you won’t be up against Sonya Tayeh.

Thirty applicants will be invited to the school to audition for a panel of adjudicators, headed by none other than former Miami City Ballet artistic director Edward Villella. All finalists will receive constructive feedback from the pros, and five winners will be chosen to receive a $500 prize and an invitation to perform in the May 2014 Emerging Choreographers Showcase at the university. Additionally, one of the winners will be selected to set their piece on Rider dance majors the following school year. Don’t pass up this abundance of artistic opportunity. Enter here: http://www.rider.edu/ecc.

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