Debbie Allen, Matthew Bourne, Wayne Cilento Support Petition To Create IMDB Choreography Category
Choreographers have been recognized for their invaluable contributions to Broadway musicals ever since George Balanchine was the first to earn the billing for his groundbreaking work in in 1936 hit, ON YOUR TOES. Before then, shows would hire what was known as a "dance director" to simply assign steps and formations.
Similarly, while movie musicals like TOP HAT and GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 were all the rage throughout the first decade of talkies, choreographers often went uncredited.
While film choreographers are better recognized today, the Academy Awards still don't honor their work, and the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), the Internet's most popular resource for film credits, lists them towards the bottom of a category named "other crew."
A new petition posted on the website Change by Choreographers Unite urges Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon (which owns IMDB), to create a new "choreography dept." category, which will list all choreographers, associate choreographers, assistant choreographers and supervising choreographers.
The petition states, "CHICAGO, DIRTY DANCING, GREASE, "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER have grossed over 1 billion dollars. That's just 5 movies that wouldn't have achieved the same iconic status without choreographers creating dancing to either move a scene forward or WOW world-wide audiences to its feet."
At this time, the petition has attracted over 2,500 signatures and comments supporting the cause have been posted by prominent dancers and choreographers such as Debbie Allen (3-time Emmy winner for choreography), Wayne Cilento (Tony-winning choreographer of TOMMY) and Matthew Bourne (Tony-winning choreographer of SWAN LAKE).