As a performer, Geoffrey has worked on Broadway with Mary Poppins, and on National Tours including Mary Poppins (First National), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (First National), and 42nd Street (Asia).
As a Director & Choreographer, Geoffrey has worked on Broadway (Associate Kids Director with Mary Poppins), internationally (Assistant Director of the Mexico City Spanish-language production of Mary Poppins), regionally (Mary Poppins, Alluvion Stage, Playhouse on the Square), and at festivals (NYMF, Fringe, TADA!), University productions (At The Chelsea, Footloose, at CAP21 Conservatory), and on readings throughout NYC.
We asked Geoffrey a few questions about his background, his work and the goals he has for his residency with BDL.
BDL: Tell us a bit about your background and how you started choreographing.
Geoffrey Goldberg: I had taught dance classes and choreographed routines there since I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until I became Dance Captain of Mary Poppins on Broadway that I considered a career as a Director and Choreographer. After that show, I went full steam ahead, choreographing festival and university productions in NYC, to large scale productions regionally around the country. It’s been a lot of fun, and a huge learning curve!
BDL: What was it that made you want to become a choreographer?
GG: I love storytelling. I have always been a writer, in addition to a dancer, and see movement and choreography as another means of telling a story. And the reward of telling that story with no words, with only bodies, emotions, relationships, moments, and movements is so great – and the discovery of how to tell that story is even greater!
BDL: Are you coming to Cycle 3 with any specific goals in mind?
GG: I have done a lot of choreography with tap, and I am looking forward to choreographing more traditional musical theater style, as well as with some more ensemble-based contemporary movement. I have a few new pieces I’d like to explore, as well as some potentially crazy and fun ideas to toss in there, too!
BDL: How does your process in the studio generally unfold? Do you start with the music or an idea or simply let yourself be inspired by the dancers?
GG: I usually start with the music, which leads me to an idea. I’ll listen to the music countless times until I feel like I understand each nook and cranny, and eventually images and moves and stories come out. When I am in the studio, it is simply a matter of relaying those ideas to the dancers, to the team, and that might be done through conversation, movement, or some other sort of exercise. I feel like I develop my way of choreographing each time I choreograph.
BDL: What are three words that you would use to describe your choreographic style?
GG: Classic, quirky and strong.
BDL: What’s next for you after BDL?
GG: I am off to Philadelphia to Direct and Choreograph a production of Billy Elliot at the Media Theater! I absolutely love this show, and cannot wait to work on this production, which will be my second production of Billy Elliot this year!
BDL: Why do you think programs like BDL are important?
GG: I am so looking forward to the workshop – I feel like it is a much-needed space in our industry to explore and discover and try out ideas without the pressure or timeline of production. I am also looking forward to challenging myself to be driven by the process, and not the product, as is many times the case.