These Canadian brothers are nominated for a Tony Award for The Outsiders

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well the Tony Awards will be handed out tomorrow honoring the best that Broadway has to offer and a pair of Canadians are hoping to dance their way on stage to accept an [Music] [Applause] award Brothers Rick and Jeff cooperman have been nominated for best choreography for their work on The Outsiders even more impressive as the show marks their Broadway debut The Outsiders tells the story of rival G gangs in the 1960s Oklahoma originally a novel it was adapted into a film in 1983 by Francis Ford Copla and sted an impressive cast of upand cominging stars the play’s adaptation is up for 12 Awards Sunday including best musical we spoke with Rick and Jeff about what this nomination means to them we just feel really lucky to be able to uh you know collaborate with our extraordinary creative team on this piece uh it’s it’s a bit surreal honestly but um we’ve really really enjoyed you know making the show and we’re just pleased that it’s finding an audience and Jeff a a Tony Award uh you know when you started this did you ever think that this might be where you’d end up I mean it’s it’s it’s definitely a huge honor uh and and we’re we’re so grateful that we’re being recognized for the show but more importantly that the show across the board is being being recognized um and is really finding an audience and people are are responding to it so that is the most gratifying thing for sure you know taking on a project like this The Outsiders trying to choreograph a musical uh based on a book that is so beloved and and so widely read especially in high schools uh here in Canada also in the United States what was and and Jeff I’ll ask you this what was the sort of um obligation that you felt uh when you’re taking on the choreography for this show sure I mean it it’s such an important story and um and when we read Adam rap’s uh script uh there were it was it read almost cinematically so there were a lot of these sequences that that we knew that we had to do justice to uh so it was a it was a real heads scratch for first but as we began to open up the vocabulary and discover how this thing moves um it uh it sort of came into Focus there’s a lot of um fight scenes in this you have a background in martial arts Jeff what role did your Martial Arts play in your choreographing the the fight scene specifically but the the whole play the martial arts background came in handy because so often when we see fights on stage we’re we’re faking Force we’re faking punches and so it was important to to us uh to to move past that and to harness momentum and harness force and to find a way to make it read properly on stage and Rick you know I know Brothers like to rough house uh you both have done martial arts you probably like to spar uh what was that process like in actually putting that choreography together with your brother sure um there’s a lot of partnering in show of course all fight choreography but all of the social dance throughout the peace and the World building a lot of that takes place in in pairs and Partnerships so it’s uh it’s really great to be able to work as a Duo to craft the movement to demonstrate the movement to help set it on the company so it’s a it’s a real joy to be able to work with a creative collaborator and partner who’s also a family yeah and to work on a on a show about Brotherhood with your brother is kind of a dream come true and and Jeff you know in putting this together did you look at any other sort of iconic Broadway musicals did you draw anything from other shows that you’ve seen I mean of course we’re indebted to the Jerome Robins west size story but uh the the the feeling of the show is actually quite different um and so we were we were wary of trying to copy anything or or um follow any sort of mold uh but of course after seeing that ades of musicals it’s all floating around somewhere in in our heads totally and it’s cool to see I think this season on Broadway is really special and the role of choreography in this season is very special we’re starting to see new modalities new vocabularies and new ways that movement can support storytelling and it’s really awesome to to be a part of that way yeah a more integrated use of choreography I I’m really I haven’t seen the show but i’ I’ve watched a lot of the clips and I’m I’m looking forward to seeing it hopefully someday but it appears to me that physicality is really big in in the telling of this story how big of a role does the choreography play in sort of setting the scene yeah so the the use of bodies was always really integral in in the just the the conception of the piece because it’s a Memory play uh we’re perceiving the story and experiencing it through Pony boy’s eyes and so the the kind of abstraction and the World building the fact that the company members can do that themselves without relying on you know wagon sets rolling on and off is really cool and special um it was also an opportunity to really demand uh excellence in in acting singing and dancing from the entire company it’s so cool to see this of of Triple Threat that’s awesome yeah it certainly is an amazing cast and I you know as I say I’m hoping someday to see it uh just quickly any uh scoop there on whether or not this might be coming to Canada anytime soon I don’t know that we can can say we’re very hopeful that we’ll be able to share the story with our friends and family back home in Toronto Brothers Rick and Jeff cooperman Tony nominees for their work on The Outsiders

Canadian brothers Rick and Jeff Kuperman have been nominated for a Tony Award for best choreography for their work on the Angelina Jolie-produced musical The Outsiders. The award’s winner will be announced during Sunday’s ceremony, which will celebrate the best that Broadway has to offer.

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