Mandy Moore The Artist
My daughter @SparklesLund is a dancer, so I have seen all kinds of great choreographers block their dances. Most are for a competition stage. As a chaperone parent, I have also had the opportunity to watch choreographers for commercials. Today, I got to watch Mandy Moore at the top of her game, building a dance for the live finale of Dancing with the Stars.
The kids arrived at the CBS lot off Genesee for a 10 a.m. call. Yes, it is weird to think that an ABC show would be on the CBS lot, but not really. From 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., the kids learned the choreography. Mandy showed some of it, but her assistants Alicia and Mike were more hands on. Mandy watched with bright eyes as her vision for the piece went from imagination to bodies in movement in front of her. A few corrections were made. Within two hours, the kids had the basics of the movement. Lunch break.
When the kids arrived back from lunch, they arrived on a fully constructed set. While everyone else was on break, Mandy and her assistants directed the final placement of the set – and lots of props. “Placements everyone,” she said. Then, like a puzzle, everything came together, and Mandy was back at it.
Mandy started with the “buckets team” – foot in a bucket, mop in her hand, “5-6-7-8.” She ran it with the kids a few times, her assistant watched. “Run it.” She instructed as she moved off to work with a different group, and the buckets team ran it, and ran it, and ran it. After awhile, Mandy stopped back to the bucket team and asked a question “Is it amazing? Is it clean? Is it ready for music?” The assistant replied, “not quite. 5-6-7-8.”
Mandy went back to the beds team. She rehearsed, and rehearsed, and rehearsed. You can tell that she loves working with kids. Laughter was the only sound on the set. “Ok, can we try this? Want to see it? Music” They run it. Laughter. Too funny!
Then the magic happens. “Come here!” she commands one of the dancers. “I need you to run down the stairs, hit a cartwheel then….” 5-6-7-8 and 1.” “And I need you throw your arm around like a cowboy as she pulls you across the floor, “go… Music.” Then more magic – “put your hands on their shoulder and jump to look out the window.” More laughter. “I love it. Now go back. Put your mop in the bucket. From the top and 1-2-“
“Wait, tug-a-warzie, camera goes in, how do they move the walls out with the buckets there? That’s tight.” Mandy makes a change, they run it again – “5-6-7-8 Much better! I like it. More Movement, I need you to kick you feet. Lets go from buckets! The brooms come next!”
Great vision, great management, great coaching, art.