Arlene Phillips


Arlene Phillips

Musical Staging & Choreographer

Arlene Phillips first came to the attention of the British public when she created the dance group Hot Gossip. Since then her choreography has been seen in theatre, feature films, concert arenas, television, music videos and commercials.

Theatre choreography credits include: Grease, The Sound of Music, We Will Rock You (music by Queen), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, and the US touring productions of Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar. She also choreographed Matador, Time (starring Cliff Richard) and the RSC production of A Clockwork Orange (music by U2).

As a director and choreographer productions include: Saturday Night Fever, the concert tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with stars Michael Ball, Michael Bolton, Sarah Brightman, Petula Clark, Michael Crawford and Elaine Paige, Black Goes With Everything (the songs of Don Black) and EFX at the MGM Grand (starring David Cassidy). She directed Michael Flatley’s acclaimed arena production Lord of the Dance and Donna Summer in Concert at the Universal Amphitheatre. Arlene was invited to be the Director of Choreography for the Manchester XVII Commonwealth Games ceremonies and to stage Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, on the official theme, ‘Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life)’.

In film choreography she has worked with many notable directors such as John Huston (Annie), Ridley Scott (Legend) starring Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood (White Hunter, Black Heart), Ken Russell (Salome’s Last Dance) and Terry Jones (Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life). On other films she has worked with the Village People (Can’t Stop the Music) and the Pet Shop Boys (It Couldn’t Happen Here).

Television credits include: Ken Russell’s The ABC of Music, The Benny Hill Show, the US syndicated Dancin’ to the Hits, The Kenny Everett Video Show featuring dance group Hot Gossip with Sarah Brightman and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Friends. Her work has also been seen on The Brit Awards, The Royal Variety Show, The Prince’s Trust, Children in Need, Party in the Park and the legendary Party at the Palace. In 2006 Arlene was commissioned by Mattel to create a dance DVD for children.

In music videos she has worked with Duran Duran, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Queen, Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Robbie Williams to name but a few. Arlene has choreographed over 100 TV commercials in England and America.

Arlene has worked with numerous stars and has received theatre award nominations including a Tony, two Oliviers, a National Broadway and a Fany. Awards include an MTV, a Drama Desk, a Bafta, and an Emmy for Best Choreography. In the 2002 New Years Honours List Arlene was awarded an OBE for services to dance and in 2004 a Companionship Award from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, for her contribution to dance, presented by Sir Paul McCartney. Arlene appears as a judge on BBC1’s hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing and she judged the follow-up series Strictly Dance Fever. In 2007, together with Bruno Tonioli from Strictly Come Dancing, they created a new BBC1 show DanceX.

2008 is a busy year. Arlene has created a new musical drama for ITV, called Britannia High. She is the Director of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, and Choreographer for brand new musical Flashdance.

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