Notable LGBTQ Dance Choreographers
The LGBTQ community has been so prominent in the dance profession that it is now considered a stereotype that all male dancers are gay. Of course, this is not true, but it does reflect the important role the community has played in the history of dance. Included among this contribution is dance choreographers. This contribution by prominent LGBTQ choreographers covers a wide spectrum of dance styles and mediums, including ballet, sports presentations, contemporary, film, television, theatre, performance art, and more.
Many LGBTQ choreographers are founders of prominent dance companies. These include Americans Robert Joffrey of Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey of Alvin Ailey Dance Studio, New Zealander Alexander Grant of Sadler Wells Ballet, and Great Britain's Matthew Bourne among others. Many have received recognition for their contribution to the profession through the receipt of honours and awards such as Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and national honours.
Did you know:
- the creator of vogueing was gay American Willi Ninja;
- Canada's Maud Allan scandalized the world of dance through her risque production of 'Salome' in the 1920s;
- Michael Bennett's production of 'A Chorus Line' is the longest running Broadway musical in history;
- Chinese transgender choreographer Jin Xing is her country's first officially recognized transgender individual?
A prominent outlet for LGBTQ choreographers today is with the production of reality television dance shows 'You Think You Can Dance', 'Dancing With the Stars', 'La Meilleure Danse' and 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Despite this presence, there remains a lack of same-sex competitors in these shows which has stirred up considerable and controversial opinions.
We have identified the following notable LGBTQ dance choreographers. Simply click on their names to read their fascinating biographies:
- Robert Helpmann, Sadler Wells Ballet/Australia Ballet
- Marcelo Gomes, American Ballet Theatre
- Maud Allan, contemporary dance
- Reid Anderson, National Ballet of Canada/Stuttgart Ballet
- Christopher Gillis, Paul Taylor Dance Company
- James Kudelka, National Ballet of Canada
- Keith Hennessy, Circozero
- Emma Portner, Emma Portner and Artists
- Jin Xing, ballet
- Rod Riffler, contemporary dance
- Lazaro Cuervo Costa, Afro-Cuban dance
- Yemi Akinyemi Dele, Dance Academy Prague/JAD Dance Company
- Tiina Lindfors, Dance Theatre ERI
- Frederick Ashton, Royal Ballet
- Rikki Beadle-Blair, contemporary dance
- Matthew Bourne, Matthew Bourne Dance Company
- Warren Carlyle, theatre
- Rupert Doone, classical ballet
- Craig Revel Horwood, Commonwealth Games and 'Strictly Come Dancing'
- Alex Scurr, Gay Men's Dance Company
- Wayne Sleep, Royal Ballet
- Louie Spence, Pineapple Dance Studios
- Antony Tudor, ballet
- Christopher Wheeldon, ballet
- Ben Wright, bgroup
- Dimitris Papaioannou, Olympic Games ceremonies
- Navtej Singh Johar, Bharatanatyam dance
- Mohammad Khordadian, Persian dance
- Bruno Tonioli, 'Dancing With the Stars'
- Marcelino Sambe, Royal Ballet
- Yevgeny Kharitonov, pantomime
- Boris Kochno, Ballets Russes
- Serge Lifar, Paris Opera, Ballets Russes
- Leonide Massine, Ballets Russes
- Boris Moiseyev/ Boris Moiseev, pop music choreographer
- Vaslav Nijinski, Ballets Russes
- Rudolf Nureyev, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera
- Lin Hwai-min, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
- Rudi Van Dantzig, Dutch National Ballet
- Kyle Abraham, Abraham in Motion
- Alvin Ailey, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
- Rob Ashford, theatre and television
- Arthur Aviles, Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre/BADD!
- Michael Bennett, 'A Chorus Line'
- Michael Berresse, theatre and film
- Candis Cayne, film
- Merce Cunningham, Merce Cunningham Dance Company
- Sean Dorsey, Sean Dorsey Dance Company
- Gina Gibney, Gibney Dance
- Trajal Harrell, contemporary dance
- Julianne Hough, Dancing With The Stars reality television series
- Robert Joffrey, Joffrey Ballet
- Bill T. Jones, theatre
- Mark Kanemura, pop music video choreographer/Broadway Dance Center
- Rob Marshall, theatre and film
- Trey McIntyre, Trey McIntyre Project
- Jeremy McQueen, Black Iris Project/Joffrey Ballet
- James Mitchell, television shows
- Jerry Mitchell, Broadway Bares
- Marion Morgan, film choreographer
- Mark Morris, ballet
- Willi Ninja, creator of vogueing dance style
- Justin Peck, New York City Ballet
- Brontez Purnell, 'The Younger Lovers'
- Jerome Robbins, ballet
- Fatima Robinson, Super Bowl shows
- Yvonne Rainer, contemporary dance
- Benjamin Schwimmer, 'So You Think You Can Dance'
- Adam Shankman, 'So You Think You Can Dance'
- Ted Shawn, Denishawn/Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers/Jacobs Pillow
- Elizabeth Streb, Streb Extreme Action Company
- Paul Taylor, Paul Taylor Dance Company
- Tommy Tune, theatre
- Travis Wall, 'So You Think You Can Dance'
- Dashaun Williams, Vogue Evolution
- Robert Wilson, Watermill Center
- Notable LGBTQ Playwrights
- LGBTQ Classical Music Composers
- LGBTQ Lyricists and Composers for Theatre and Film
- LGBTQ Ballet Dancers