ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST Choreographer Talks Collaborating With Deaf West on New Episode
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist choreographer Mandy Moore recently chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about the recent episode's ASL and dance combination, and how she collaborated with Deaf West on the number.
Sunday's episode featured a lyric-less dance to Rachel Platten's "Fight Song," starring a deaf actress and a crew of deaf dancers from across the country.
"My first thing I asked is do you want all the performers to be deaf? Or can they learn ASL? Can they be dancers that learned ASL?" said Moore. "In my heart, I knew what he was going to say. This can't be people that can hear doing ASL. This needs to be deaf performers."
Moore said that the crew reached out to DJ Kurs, who runs the theatre company Deaf West.
"Number one, we want to be respectful and do it justice, and put a storyline out there that that is real and that means something to people. So we reached out to him and early on he cast his net out to his contacts all over the country," Moore explained.
Between the two of them, ten performers were cast based on submitted self-tapes.
Moore also revealed that she flew to L.A. and worked with DJ, as well as three of the performers, to have an ASL workshop, and decide how the language and dance would fit together.
"I found out very early that dance can really stomp on ASL, funny enough - if you do too much of it, or you do a gesture that maybe feels good to me as a dancer, but that says something different with ASL," she said.
Moore also discussed how she got involved with the show, and upcoming dance sequences she is excited for audiences to see. Read the full interview on The Hollywood Reporter.
Check out a behind the scenes video from the episode below:
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