Famous 20th Century Choreographers

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 1 
Michael Jackson
(One of the Most Significant Cultural Figures of the 20th Century Popularly Known as the 'King of Pop')
Michael Jackson
16
Birthdate: August 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
Died: June 25, 2009

The King of Pop and an international superstar, Michael Jackson was a musical entertainer whose work – both with Jackson 5 and solo – won accolades and hearts worldwide. Equally popular were his unique dance moves that created sensation and shaped future dance styles. Amongst the most successful entertainers of all time, Jackson was later accused of child molestation.  

 2 
Fred Astaire
(The Greatest Dancer in Film History)
Fred Astaire
6
Birthdate: May 10, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: June 22, 1987

Fred Astaire was an American actor, television presenter, dancer, choreographer, and singer. Widely regarded as the most influential dancer in film history, Astaire was known for his innovation, perfectionism, and an uncanny sense of rhythm. Also known for his fashion sense, Fred Astaire remained a male fashion icon throughout his career, which spanned more than seven decades.

 3 
Eugene Curran Kelly
(Actor, Dancer, Singer, Filmmaker, and Choreographer)
Eugene Curran Kelly
4
Birthdate: August 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 2, 1996

Actor, dancer, singer, and filmmaker, Gene Kelly, was one of the most popular Hollywood figures in the 1940s and 1950s. Among his other achievements, he is credited to have popularized the genre of musical films in Hollywood. As a filmmaker, he often experimented with camera techniques and special effects. He received an Academy Honorary Award in 1952.

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 4 
Bob Fosse
(American Choreographer and Director Known for His Works ‘The Pajama Game’ and ‘Damn Yankees’)
Bob Fosse
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 23, 1987
Legendary dancer, choreographer, and director Bob Fosse is best remembered for his Academy Award-winning direction in the musical film Cabaret. Renowned for his signature “jazz hands” style, he also earned the Palme D'Or for All That Jazz and nine Tony Awards for various stage productions, eight of them for choreography. 
 5 
Mikhail Baryshnikov
(One of the Greatest Ballet Dancers of the 20th Century)
Mikhail Baryshnikov
4
Birthdate: January 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia

Latvian-born Russian-American dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov was a prominent male classical dancer of the 1970s and 1980s. Born in Latvian SSR, he moved to America where he joined the New York City Ballet. Within years, he became one of the most widely recognized contemporary ballet dancers in the world. He is also a dramatic actor.

 6 
Gregory Hines
(Actor, Choreographer and One of the Most Celebrated Tap Dancers of All Time)
Gregory Hines
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 9, 2003
Gregory Hines is remembered as one of the greatest tap dancers in the world. His performance in the Broadway play Jelly's Last Jam won him a Tony and a Drama Desk award. He also won an Emmy for his voice role in Little Bill and hosted his own show.
 7 
Rudolf Nureyev
(Choreographer & One of the Greatest Male Ballet Dancers of His Generation)
Rudolf Nureyev
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Irkutsk, Russia
Died: January 6, 1993

Born into a Tatar Muslim family, Rudolf Nureyev grew up to gain fans both for his exceptional ballet skills and for his sharp cheek bones. One of the greatest male ballet dancers ever, he gained fame performing with stars such as Margot Fonteynhe. A closeted homosexual, he died of AIDS.

 8 
Isadora Duncan
(American Dancer and Choreographer)
Isadora Duncan
6
Birthdate: May 26, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 14, 1927

Isadora Duncan was a dancer acclaimed in USA, Europe, and the Soviet Union. Raised by a single mother, she grew up in poverty and started teaching dance to children to earn some money. She later joined Augustin Daly's theater company. Eventually, she opened her own dance schools to teach her unique philosophy and techniques to her students. 

 9 
Paula Abdul
(Her Album 'Forever Your Girl' was One of The Most Successful Albums in 1988)
Paula Abdul
8
Birthdate: June 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Fernando, California, United States

Starting her career as a cheerleader, Paula Abdul went on to choreograph music videos for Janet Jackson. She then tried her hand at singing-songwriting and released a highly successful debut studio album. Also an award-winning actress, Paula was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has also appeared in TV shows like American Idol.

 10 
Martha Graham
(Modern Dancer and Choreographer Known for Her 'Graham Technique' Style)
Martha Graham
5
Birthdate: May 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 1, 1991

Martha Graham was a modern dancer and choreographer who revolutionized American dance. She developed what later became known as the Graham technique, a modern dance movement style and pedagogy. She had an extensive career spanning over 70 years. The Martha Graham School, founded in 1926, is the oldest school of dance in USA.  

 11 
Debbie Allen
(Actress Best Known for Her Work in the Musical-Drama Television Series 'Fame')
Debbie Allen
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Debbie Allen is an actress, dancer, choreographer, and singer-songwriter.  She appeared in the musical-drama TV series Fame and also worked as the series’ principal choreographer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards. She runs the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and is a former member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 

 12 
MC Hammer
(One of the Most Significant Rappers and Dancers of All Time)
MC Hammer
4
Birthdate: March 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Rap legend MC Hammer, a pioneer of the pop-rap genre, became the first hip-hop artist to earn the “diamond” status. He is also known for his chartbusting tracks such as U Can't Touch This and his signature "Hammer pants." He later became a preacher and hosted his own reality show.
 13 
Lisa Niemi
(Writer, Director and Lead Actress of the Film 'One Last Dance')
Lisa Niemi
4
Birthdate: May 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Lisa Niemi is known for her appearance in Steel Dawn and One Last Dance, with her former husband Patrick Swayze. She also released memoirs, both New York Times bestsellers and one of them co-written by Swayze. Swayze’s death due to pancreatic cancer led her to spread awareness about the ailment.
 14 
Margot Fonteyn
(English Ballet Dancer)
Margot Fonteyn
3
Birthdate: May 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reigate, England
Died: February 21, 1991

Margot Fonteyn was an English ballerina who spent her entire dancing career at the Royal Ballet. She was eventually appointed prima ballerina assoluta of the Royal Ballet by Queen Elizabeth II. Margot Fonteyn achieved international fame after a tour of the US in 1949. She also helped popularize ballet in the US by appearing on TV before and after WWII.

 15 
Allison Holker
(American Dancer, Choreographer, and Actress Known for Her TV Dance Competition ‘So You Think You Can Dance’)
Allison Holker
4
Birthdate: February 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Anoka County, Minnesota, United States

Allison Holker is an American dancer known for appearing in the reality TV dance competition show, So You Think You Can Dance. She has also worked in several concert tours, films, and television series. In 2007, she was adjudged the National Senior Dancer of the Year. In 2013, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination under the Outstanding Choreography category.

 16 
Mayte Garcia
(Actress & Dancer Known as the World’s Youngest Professional Belly Dancer)
Mayte Garcia
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Rucker, Alabama, United States

Mayte Garcia is an American dancer, singer, and actress. She has worked with popular artists like Britney Spears. Mayte Garcia was married to record producer and musician, Prince, from 1996 to 2000. Mayte Garcia has also written a book titled The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince which was published in 2017.

 17 
Twyla Tharp
(Dancer and Choreographer)
Twyla Tharp
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Portland

Twyla Tharp is an American dancer, author, and choreographer. She is credited with founding Twyla Tharp Dance, which she formed in 1966. In 1976, Twyla Tharp choreographed Push Comes to Shove, which is now regarded as the finest example of crossover ballet. Twyla Tharp has received several prestigious awards, including two Emmy Awards and the National Medal of the Arts.

 18 
Ashley Roberts
4
Birthdate: September 14, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
 19 
Carrie Ann Inaba
(Television personality, dancer, choreographer best known for her work on ABC TV's Dancing with the Stars for which she has served as a judge since 2005)
Carrie Ann Inaba
4
Birthdate: January 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
 20 
Rob Marshall
(Director)
Rob Marshall
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
 21 
Jerome Robbins
(Dance Choreographer)
Jerome Robbins
5
Birthdate: October 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan
Died: July 29, 1998
 22 
Darcey Bussell
(One of the Best British Ballerinas of All Time)
Darcey Bussell
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London

Darcey Bussell is an English former ballerina best known for her appearances as a judge on the popular television show, Strictly Come Dancing. She is also known for her association with the Royal Ballet, where she was a principal dancer. Darcey Bussell is considered one of the best British ballerinas of all time and is the recipient of numerous awards.  

 23 
Savion Glover
(Actor, Choreographer, Television actor, Stage actor)
Savion Glover
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark
 24 
Merce Cunningham
(Dancer and Choreographer)
Merce Cunningham
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Centralia, Washington
Died: July 26, 2009
American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham was at the forefront of American modern dance for more than 50 years.  Cunningham was honoured with Japan's Praemium Imperiale and a British Laurence Olivier Award. He was also named Officier of the Légion d'honneur in France. A documentary titled Cunningham was made on his life in 2019.
 25 
Katherine LaNasa
(Actress Known for Her Roles in the Sitcom ‘Three Sisters’ and Films: ‘The Frozen Ground’, 'The Campaign')
Katherine LaNasa
4
Birthdate: December 1, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Katherine LaNasa is an American actress known for her starring roles in films like The Campaign and Jayne Mansfield's Car. A former ballet dancer and choreographer, LaNasa started dancing at the age of 12. During the late-1980s, LaNasa assisted choreographer John Carrafa for the 1989 crime and dance drama film Rooftops.

 26 
Katherine Dunham
(One of the Most Successful Dancers of the 20th Century)
Katherine Dunham
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States
Died: May 21, 2006

Dancer, choreographer, and social activist Katherine Dunham was also a qualified anthropologist. She experimented with various ritual dances, and her innovations included a ballet performance based on Caribbean dance. She also pioneered the Dunham Technique of dance pedagogy and used the pen-name Kaye Dunn to write several works.

 27 
Gates McFadden
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States
 28 
Bruno Tonioli
(Choreographer & Judge of the Reality TV Shows 'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'Dancing With the Stars')
Bruno Tonioli
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Italian choreographer Bruno Tonioli gained fame as a Latin and ball dancer. He was a judge on the dance reality shows Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars and also appeared on DanceX and Dance War. He is gay and has often spoken of the homophobia he has faced.
 29 
Mark Ballas
(Singer, Dancer, Choreographer, Stage actor, Guitarist)
Mark Ballas
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston
 30 
Pawan Kalyan
(Film director, Actor, Choreographer, Screenwriter)
Pawan Kalyan
4
Birthdate: September 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bapatla

Pawan Kalyan is an Indian actor, screenwriter, director, stunt coordinator, politician, and philanthropist. Best known for his work in the Telugu film industry, Pawan Kalyan is one of the most popular actors of his generation. He is also known for his humanitarian work; he is credited with establishing a charitable organization called Common Man Protection Force.

 31 
Prabhu Deva
(Indian Actor, Dancer and Choreographer Who Has Garnered Two National Film Awards for Best Choreography)
Prabhu Deva
4
Birthdate: April 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mysore, Karnataka, India

Born Prabhu Sundaram, Prabhu Deva soared to fame with the song Mukkabla from Kadhalan. Born to a movie choreographer father, he followed in his footsteps to learn classical dance at an early age. The Padma Shri- and two-time National Award-winning dancer later gravitated to acting and direction.

 32 
Khandi Alexander
(Dancer, Actress)
Khandi Alexander
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
 33 
Kenny Ortega
(Director and Choreographer Known for His Films: ‘Newsies’, ‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘High School Musical’)
Kenny Ortega
3
Birthdate: April 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States
Emmy-winning choreographer Kenny Ortega is best known for directing and choreographing the High School Musical TV film series and the Descendants trilogy, both for Disney Channel. Ortega has also directed shows for popular artists such as Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, and Cher. He is also openly gay. 
 34 
Michael Flatley
(Irish-American Dancer and Choreographer Known for His Work in Shows: 'Lord of the Dance' and 'Riverdance')
Michael Flatley
4
Birthdate: July 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Born in Chicago, Irish-origin entertainer Michael Flatley took to dancing inspired by his step dancer mother and music-loving father. Initially a gambler and stockbroker, he later performed with The Chieftains and then choreographed the globally renowned show Riverdance. He later launched shows such as Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger.

 35 
Briana Evigan
(Actress)
Briana Evigan
4
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
 36 
Kimberly Wyatt
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warrensburg, Missouri, United States
 37 
Columbus Short
(Choreographer)
Columbus Short
4
Birthdate: September 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
 38 
Agnes de Mille
(American dancer and choreographer)
Agnes de Mille
3
Birthdate: September 18, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: October 7, 1993
 39 
Raoul Trujillo
(Choreographer)
Raoul Trujillo
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
 40 
Iko Uwais
(Actor)
Iko Uwais
4
Birthdate: February 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jakarta, Indonesia
 41 
Patsy Swayze
(Choreographer)
Patsy Swayze
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harris County, Texas, United States
Died: September 16, 2013
 42 
Michael Kidd
(Choreographer, Ballet Dancer)
Michael Kidd
2
Birthdate: August 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 23, 2007
 43 
Ann Reinking
(Actor, Choreographer, Dancer, Stage actor)
Ann Reinking
4
Birthdate: November 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Seattle
 44 
Alvin Ailey
(Dancer)
Alvin Ailey
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rogers, Texas, United States
Died: December 1, 1989
 45 
Ruth Connell
(Actress)
Ruth Connell
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Falkirk, Scotland, UK
 46 
Geoffrey Holder
3
Birthdate: August 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: October 5, 2014
 47 
Flex Alexander
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
 48 
Ashley Banjo
(English Actor, Street Dancer, and Choreographer)
Ashley Banjo
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Leytonstone

Ashley Banjo is an English actor, street dancer, and choreographer. He is best known as the leader of Diversity, a dance troupe that won the third series of the popular televised talent show, Britain's Got Talent. Ashley Banjo has also appeared as a judge on TV shows like Got to Dance and Dancing on Ice.

 49 
Aljaž Škorjanec
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ptuj, Slovenia
 50 
Kenny Wormald
(Actor, Dancer, Choreographer, Television producer)
Kenny Wormald
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston