The Kings on Season 3 of 'World of Dance.' Photo credit: Justin Lubin/NBC.
The 2019 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Choreography For Variety Or Reality Programming was announced on Tuesday. After last year's controversy about shows like World of Dance being ignored and scripted programming left off of the roster altogether, this year's crop of nominees is a better representation of what the dance industry looks like.
One of the main differences is the fact that there is a category for Scripted Programming this year. The rules for Variety Or Reality Programming are completely different from the Scripted Programming rules and it's important to understand how each category works. The Scripted Programming winner or winners will be announced before the Choreography Nominees Reception, where they will be recognized, and the winner or winners will receive their Emmy at the Creative Arts ceremony in September.
While the category only reflects the work of two shows, So You Think You Can Dance and World of Dance, it does showcase the work of a diverse group of choreographers. Representing SYTYCD is Travis Wall, who has continually pushed the boundaries on SYTYCD when it comes to sexual and gender-identity issues, and Jamaican-born, Canadian-raised choreographer Luther Brown.
Two of the World of Dance nominees prove that dance is a global art form with Suresh Mukund representing The Kings from India, and Karen Forcano and Ricardo Vega showcasing their high-level salsa choreography from Chile. Rounding out the list from World of Dance is Latina choreographer Tessandra Chavez, vying for her second Emmy with Unity LA, and Filipino choreographer Melvin Timtim Rogador, with his first nomination, from S-Rank.
The Choreography Peer Group did a great job of representing different styles in this category as well. It's not often that contemporary, Bollywood hip-hop, urban dance and salsa are competing against each other. This reflects what's happening in commercial dance today and it's important that the TV Academy recognizes this diversity.
With such a wide variety of dances honored, it's hard to predict the winner or winners in this category. Wall is certainly a frontrunner since he's been in the category nine consecutive times since 2011 and his "It Takes A Lot To Know A Man" packs an emotional punch. However, no one can discount the work of any of the other choreographers. Brown had the season of a lifetime on Season 15 on SYTYCD. He was on a creative roll that was deservedly honored this year.
On the World of Dance side, no one made a bigger impact when it came to athleticism than the work of Mukund. Chavez, not only made a mark on Season 2 with Ashley & Zack, but she came back in Season 3 with Unity LA to cement her choreographic prowess. Forcano and Vega's dazzling salsa choreography is unlike anything dance audiences have ever seen and their nomination truly was a thrilling surprise. Rogador's choreography for S-Rank may seem simple to the eye, but look carefully — it's intricate, complicated and tricky for a large crew.
There are still two months to go before we know the winner/winners of this category, but the TV Academy should be proud of the group they honored this year. It represents all of the wonderful styles and talented artists, who are making a mark in the dance industry.
Don’t miss Dance Network’s ‘To The Pointe’ interview with ‘Homecoming’ and ‘SYTYCD’ All-Star Jasmine Harper: