Famous 20th Century Choreographers

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 1 
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.

 2 
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. 
 3 
Mikhail Baryshnikov
(One of the Greatest Ballet Dancers of the 20th Century)
Mikhail Baryshnikov
6
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.

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 4 
Gregory Hines
(Actor, Choreographer and One of the Most Celebrated Tap Dancers of All Time)
Gregory Hines
6
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.
 5 
Isadora Duncan
(American Dancer and Choreographer)
Isadora Duncan
8
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. 

 6 
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.

 7 
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.  

 8 
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.

 9 
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.

 10 
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.
 11 
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.

 12 
Jerome Robbins
(Dance Choreographer)
Jerome Robbins
5
Birthdate: October 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan
Died: July 29, 1998
 13 
Rob Marshall
(Director)
Rob Marshall
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 14 
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.  

 15 
Savion Glover
(American Actor, Choreographer and Dancer)
Savion Glover
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
 16 
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.
 17 
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.

 18 
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.
 19 
Khandi Alexander
(Dancer, Actress)
Khandi Alexander
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 20 
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.

 21 
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. 
 22 
Paula Abdul
(Her Album 'Forever Your Girl' was One of The Most Successful Albums in 1988)
Paula Abdul
4
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.

 23 
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
 24 
Raoul Trujillo
(Choreographer)
Raoul Trujillo
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
 25 
Alvin Ailey
(Dancer)
Alvin Ailey
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rogers, Texas, United States
Died: December 1, 1989
 26 
Michael Kidd
(Choreographer, Ballet Dancer)
Michael Kidd
2
Birthdate: August 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 23, 2007
 27 
Flex Alexander
(Actor)
Flex Alexander
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 28 
Patsy Swayze
(Choreographer)
Patsy Swayze
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harris County, Texas, United States
Died: September 16, 2013
 29 
Columbus Short
(Choreographer)
Columbus Short
4
Birthdate: September 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 30 
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.

 31 
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.

 32 
Stanley Donen
(American film and dance director)
Stanley Donen
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Columbia, South Carolina,USA
Died: February 21, 2019
 33 
Aljaž Škorjanec
(Dancer)
Aljaž Škorjanec
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ptuj, Slovenia
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 34 
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
0
Birthdate: January 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 35 
Kenny Wormald
(Actor, Dancer, Choreographer, Television producer)
Kenny Wormald
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 36 
Chachi Gonzales
(Choreographer & Dancer)
Chachi Gonzales
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1996
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 37 
George Balanchine
(The Father of American Ballet)
George Balanchine
0
Birthdate: January 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: April 30, 1983
George Balanchine was a Georgian-American ballet choreographer. One of the most prominent choreographers of the 20th century, Balanchine won several prestigious awards like the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. Referred to as the father of American ballet, Balanchine is credited with co-founding the New York City Ballet. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1988.
 38 
Vaslav Nijinsky
(Ballet Dancer, Choreographer and One of the Greatest Male Dancers of All Time)
Vaslav Nijinsky
0
Birthdate: March 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: April 8, 1950

Vaslav Nijinsky was a ballet dancer and choreographer. He is counted among the greatest male dancers of the early 20th century. He was known for the intensity of his characterizations. He was brilliant and could dance en pointe, a rare skill few male dancers of his era possessed. He suffered from mental health issues in his later life. 

 39 
Paul Taylor
(One of the foremost American choreographers of the 20th century)
Paul Taylor
4
Birthdate: July 29, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: August 29, 2018
 40 
Peta Murgatroyd
(Dancer)
Peta Murgatroyd
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 41 
Marge Champion
(American Dancer and Actress)
Marge Champion
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: October 21, 2020
 42 
Kristina Rihanoff
(Ballroom Dancer and Choreographer)
Kristina Rihanoff
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vladivostok, Russia

Kristina Rihanoff is a Russian professional ballroom dancer, author, choreographer, and instructor. She achieved popularity after competing in the popular British television dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing. Also known for her philanthropic efforts, Kristina Rihanoff works closely with a children's charity named The Dot Com Foundation, which helps children handle challenging situations.

 43 
Craig Revel Horwood
(Australian-British Dancer, Choreographer, Author, Theatre Director, Conductor, and Former Drag Queen)
Craig Revel Horwood
4
Birthdate: January 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ballarat, Australia

Craig Revel Horwood is an Australian-British dancer, choreographer, author, theatre director, conductor, and former drag queen. Also a TV personality, Horwood is best known for appearing as a judge on the British television dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing. Craig Revel Horwood has also released three autobiographies by joining hands with Michael O'Mara Books.

 44 
Maurice Béjart
(Swiss Dancer, Choreographer and Opera Director Who Ran the 'Béjart Ballet Lausanne')
Maurice Béjart
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: November 22, 2007

Maurice Béjart was a French-born Swiss dancer, opera director, and choreographer. He is credited with founding the popular Swiss ballet company Béjart Ballet Lausanne. During his lifetime, Maurice Béjart was honored with several awards, including the Belgian Ordre de la Couronne, Erasmus Prize, Deutscher Tanzpreis, and the Prix Benois de la Danse for his contributions to the arts. 

 45 
Michel Fokine
(Russian Choreographer and Dancer)
Michel Fokine
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 22, 1942

Michel Fokine was a Russian dancer and choreographer whose pieces are performed internationally to this day. Fokine is credited with choreographing the works of popular dancers like Anna Pavlova. Renowned for his groundbreaking works, such as Le Pavillon d'Armide, Michel Fokine has been portrayed in a couple of films, namely Nijinsky and A Woman for All Time.

 46 
Frankie Manning
(Dancer and choreographer)
Frankie Manning
3
Birthdate: May 26, 1914
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Died: April 27, 2009
 47 
Robin Antin
(Ballet dancer, Choreographer, Television presenter, Actor, Dancer)
Robin Antin
3
Birthdate: July 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles

Robin Antin is an American dancer, actress, singer, entrepreneur, clothing designer, and choreographer. Antin is credited with founding the Pussycat Dolls, a modern burlesque troupe that went on to become famous. She is also credited with creating other popular girl groups like the Paradiso Girls, Girlicious, and G.R.L. As a choreographer, she has worked with well-known personalities like Paris Hilton.

 48 
Sir Robert Helpmann
(Australian Actor, Ballet Dancer, Choreographer, and Director)
Sir Robert Helpmann
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mount Gambier, Australia
Died: September 28, 1986
 49 
Arlene Phillips
(English Choreographer, Television Judge and Presenter, Theatre Director, Talent Scout, and Former Dancer)
Arlene Phillips
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Prestwich, United Kingdom
Arlene Phillips is an English choreographer, television judge and presenter, theatre director, talent scout, and former dancer. She achieved popularity as the choreographer of many television shows, films, and Broadway and West End musicals. Arlene Phillips' popularity increased when she started appearing as a judge on television shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Strictly Come Dancing.
 50 
Mark Ballas
(Singer, Dancer, Choreographer, Stage actor, Guitarist)
Mark Ballas
0
Birthdate: May 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)