A Dancer’s Choreographer
Editor in Chief
What is it that makes someone the kind of cho-
reographer dancers love to work with?
In the case of our cover star Joshua Bergasse,
I’d place my bets on his uncanny ability to pull
the best out of his dancers. The cast of Broad-
way’s new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
can attest to how he challenges his performers—
and himself—to push further than they thought
possible. “My philosophy is, ‘If it’s something
I can do, then I’ve probably already done it,’;”
he tells writer Sylviane Gold in our cover story.
“So let me ;nd something new on you. Or let
me help you create something.”
It doesn’t hurt that Bergasse also seems to be
the very de;nition of a nice guy: He’s super-
passionate, has no hint of an ego and is always
quick to crack a joke. Add in savvy, on-his-feet
thinking, and it’s no surprise that he’s racked up
a string of high-pro;le shows on and off Broad-
way, plus a Tony nomination.
But as much as choreographers can help
dancers stretch their limits, they also have to
respect that some boundaries can’t be crossed.
As wilder and wilder choreography grows more
common on all sorts of stages, we’ve begun to
wonder: What are the lines that choreographers
won’t cross? In this issue, we ask a handful of
top dancemakers how they decide what’s not
okay to ask a dancer to do onstage. Their range
of answers offers fascinating insight: For some,
anything’s fair game as long as you can have
an honest conversation; for others, nothing’s
worth making a dancer feel uncomfortable. But
all start from a place of compassion. Because
being a choreographer dancers love isn’t just
about warm and fuzzy feelings—it’s the way
everyone creates their best work.
Diavolo’s second company
is one of many troupes
to hire dancers after
connecting at a college.
COLLEGE STUDENTS: Find out
how to successfully network with
guest choreographers at
your school, page 54.