Emmy Nominee Sonya Tayeh On The Season Finale Of Pod De Deux's "Women Of Broadway"
The Pod De Deux Podcast team is back with a not-to-be-missed season finale episode in the "Women Of Broadway" summer series.
This week, Emmy nominee Sonya Tayeh joins Michael, Ellyn, and Kevin to discuss what it was like to choreograph, not one, but two musicals slated for Broadway this past season. Tayeh not only choreographed Moulin Rouge! — which opened late in the summer of 2019 — but was also set to choreograph the New York Theatre Workshop’s production of Sing Street when the musical made its transfer to Broadway this spring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, Sing Street had to halt production before it had a chance to be seen by Broadway audiences.
In this episode, Tayeh talks about how her choreographic vision for both shows was born from the heart and soul of the stories themselves and how that process created a rigorous work for the dancers of Moulin Rouge!. She also lets us in on her early days dancing in Detroit’s underground rave scene, her incredible self-made trajectory into a choreography career, and the way her world changed when she booked a choreographic job on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. We are even treated to an emotionally vulnerable look behind the scenes into the days leading up to Fox’s early 2019 production of Rent Live!
In the “Women Of Broadway” mini-series, veteran Pod De Deux host Michael Mahany (Rock Of Ages, Wicked) is joined by fellow performers Ellyn Marie Marsh (The Rose Tattoo, Kinky Boots) and Kevin Michael Raponey (Rock Of Ages, Radio City). The trio sought to speak with as many of Broadway’s 2020 female choreographers as possible.
Sonya Tayeh. Photo credit: Shervin Lainez/SonyaTayeh.com
This 2019-20 Broadway season has proven unparalleled in many ways, but besides the obvious industry-wide COVID-19 shutdown, the year has shone in a way never seen before; theatre dance was completely and utterly dominated by female choreographers. Of the 14 new or revival musical productions initially scheduled to arrive on The Great White Way this year, an astounding ten were slated to use choreography created and curated by women.
And, since the 2020 Tony Awards ceremony has been postponed until further notice, Pod De Deux has pledged to recognize and celebrate the work of the female choreographers who made this incredible year on Broadway happen.
About Sonya Tayeh:
Sonya Tayeh is a New York City based choreographer and director. Since paving her professional career, her work has been characterized as a blend of powerful versatility and theatrical range.
Tayeh made her Broadway choreographic debut last summer when Moulin Rouge! opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. This past spring, Tayeh was also slated to bring her musical Sing Street — which had a successful run at the downtown New York Theatre Workshop — uptown to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre.
Tayeh has also choreographed pieces for the Fall For Dance Festival at City Center, The Lucky Ones at Ars Nova, Kung Fu at the Signature, and many other projects for company’s and venues like The Music Center in LA, New York Live Arts, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, Martha Graham Dance Company, The Joyce Theatre. She has directed and choreographed for world-renowned music artists including Miley Cyrus, Florence and the Machine, and Kylie Minogue.
Tayeh choreographed Fox’s Rent Live! in 2019 and has gleaned many accolades for her versatile work, including two Emmy nominations for her work on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, an Obie Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, two Lucille Lortel Awards for “Outstanding Choreography”, a Drama Desk nomination and a 2020 Drama Desk Award win for Moulin Rouge!
Michael Mahany serves as NYC Dance News & Culture’s founder and Editor-At-Large. Additionally, he is a professional actor, singer, dancer who appears nightly in the 10th Anniversary production of 'Rock Of Ages' in New York City. He's also a co-host of the 'Pod De Deux' dance podcast. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, or visit www.michaelmahany.com for more. Story tips? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.