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From Broadway to Hollywood to Sochi

Daniel Ezralow in Sochi
Daniel Ezralow in Sochi

   Daniel Ezralow certainly has some amazing accomplishments under his belt. As a renowned choreographer, he has taken on incredible projects. For the theatre, he has choreographed The Green Bird in 2000, Cats in Italy in 2009 for Compagnia della Rancia and is the choreographer for the new musical adaptation of the Spider-Man comics.

   For television he has choreographed Love & Other Drugs, Across the Universe, and even the 78th Academy Awards. But could any of these accomplishments prepare him for the next task at hand? The Sochi Opening Ceremony? When approached by this question in an interview with Pat Cerasaro for Broadway World this is what happened:

PC: As someone who has choreographed for big production numbers on The Academy Awards and beyond, was that the best preparation for what you are attempting now in Sochi for the Olympics Opening Ceremony?

DE: Well, I think that they all have been like little stepping stones for me. I mean, when you do the Oscars, it ramps up a lot – especially the kind of rehearsal schedule you have. On that, I worked with Gil Cates, who I love and who is just a marvelous producer who understands theatre really well. The Grammys with Ken Ehrlich was like that, too. All of those things are big shows that really sort of ramp up for you – and I’ve done some larger-scale stage shows since, too. I really can say, though, that this one is the almighty…

The work that Daniel did for the Sochi Olympics showcased elements of both modern and classic dance. Though he wasn’t responsible for the classical ballet scenes, Daniel worked closely with the aerial elements and the ensemble pieces. George Tsypin, Scenic Designer of Spider-Man provided the scenic concepts for the Opening Ceremonies. Daniel expressed his great satisfaction about getting about to work closely with George again on such a beautifully monumental ceremony.


As I walk down the street each day I look around me and try to get what in my surroundings is possible because of a theatre designer. The displays in a window? The background chosen for a sign? The styling of a mannequin in a window? So many everyday things and events that we witness everyday are made possible by theatre artists. Who thought out the clothing that person was wearing in the commercial? Who placed the lights in a newsroom for NBC? Theatre artists did. Who is responsible for the immaculate display of the Opening Ceremony put on for the whole world to see? A THEATRE ARTIST.


I find myself smiling while reading through Daniel’s interviews because I find the purest pride in my heart for him. A man who is in our field of work, helped to create a masterpiece that was appreciated by people in over 100 countries. Daniel has proven how many opportunities are open to artistic designers with roots in theater:

   That’s the strange thing about my career, … – I am open to anything; I have hopped from dance to theatre to cinema to television, modern dance, Broadway, the Olympics now…

One thing made evident to me, is that the influences of theatre can be found anywhere. Some most beautiful showcases exhibited to our world are partly possible because of those who have began and flourished their love of art within the theatre… and I hope that the next generations to come continue this culture and tradition.

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