The following was written by myself and just prior to the 2017, 89th Academy Awards. The same argument is still relevant today in 2018; Choreographers deserve recognition at Awards Ceremony and in the credits of Film/TV.

In Hollywood, The Oscars has been the most-awaited event since its introduction, in 1929. The award ceremony is organized every year, in the month of February, with exception to 2018. Since its inception, several awards have been added as well as removed from the awards category and one amongst them is the ‘Oscar for Best Dance Direction’. It was presented to honor the art of dance directors/choreographers.

However, later on, the Academy decided to remove this category from the Academy Award ceremony. This category of “Best Dance Direction” was given only for three consecutive years i.e. from 1935 to 1937.

The Choreographer provides dancers and actors with steps from complex to basic movement in films.

Whilst the Academy Awards “Best Dance Direction” has not been around for a long time, it recognized the hard work and dedication of dance choreographers in movies.

It is imperative today that we specifically recognize Choreographers and their involvement in movies as they are an integral part of the production team, even though some movies are not specifically a musical/dance production.

Over time there have been many productions, including other dance/musicals and movies from other (film) categories that use Choreographers without any recognition.

A good time to start today would have been at the 89th Academy Awards with recognizing Mandy Moore for her brilliant work and Choreography with La La Land, 2016.

Did You Know?

In 1969 Onna White was awarded an Honorary Award at the 41st Academy Awards, for her contribution as a Choreographer in the film, Oliver! 1968.

Choreographers – Hermes Pan, Dave Gould and Seymour Felix were winners of the short lived Academy Awards Category, “Best Dance Direction”, 1935 to 1937.

Mr. Gould Won at the 8th Academy Awards in 1936.

Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935) – “I’ve Got a Feeling You’re Fooling.” – Folies Bergère de Paris (1935) – “Straw Hat.”

Mr. Felix Won at the 9th Academy Awards in 1937.

The Great Ziegfeld, (1936) – “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody.”

Mr. Pan Won at the 10th Academy Awards in 1938.

A Damsel In Distress (1937) – “Fun House.”

Hermes Pan Astaire Hermes Pan Betty Grable Hermes Pan Ginger Rogers Onna White onna-white La La Land Premiere Of Lionsgate's "La La Land" - Arrivals
Choreographer Mandy Moore attends the premiere of Lionsgate's "La La Land" Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Other Choreographers Nominated with No Wins, “Best Dance Direction.”

8th Academy Awards, 1936.

Busby Berkeley  – Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935) – “Lullaby of Broadway” and “The Words Are in My Heart.”

Bobby ConnollyGo into Your Dance (1935) – “Latin from Manhattan.” – Broadway Hostess (1935) – “Playboy from Paree.”

Sammy LeeKing of Burlesque (1936) – “Lovely Lady” and “Too Good To Be True.”

Hermes Pan – Top Hat (1935) – “Piccolino” and “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.”

LeRoy PrinzBig Broadcast of 1936 (1935) – “It’s the Animal in Me.” – All the King’s Horses (1935) – “Viennese Waltz.”

Benjamin ZemachShe (1935) – “Hall of Kings.”

9th Academy Awards, 1937.

Busby BerkeleyGold Diggers of 1937 (1937) – “Love and War.”

Bobby ConnollyCain and Mabel (1936) – “1000 Love Songs.”

Dave Gould – Born to Dance (1936) – “Swingin’ the Jinx Away.”

Jack HaskellOne in a Million (1936) – “Skating Ensemble.”

Russell LewisDancing Pirate (1936) – “The Finale.”

Hermes Pan – Swing Time (1936) – “Bojangles of Harlem.”

10th Academy Awards, 1938.

Busby BerkeleyVarsity Show (1937) – “The Finale.”

Bobby ConnollyReady, Willing, and Able (1937) – “Too Marvelous for Words.”

Dave Gould – A Day at the Races (1937) – “All God’s Children Got Rhythm.”

Sammy LeeAli Baba Goes to Town (1937) – “Swing Is Here to Stay.”

Harry LoseeThin Ice (1937) – “Prince Igor Suite.”

LeRoy PrinzWaikiki Wedding (1937) – “Luau.”

Featured image: Promo shot for LA LA LAND