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Meet the “Cats” Movie Dancers Who Also Performed in the Stage Production

Suffering from Cats-scratch fever after watching that tantalizing trailer all weekend? Eager to know more about the feline-filled film?

The new Cats movie famously features artists new to musical theater, from Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward to commercial dance sensations Les Twins to, you know, Taylor Swift.

But the casting team didn't ignore the show's stage roots. In addition to bringing on choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, the man behind the latest Broadway revival's moves, it also hired several extremely accomplished dancers who are veterans of the Broadway, West End and/or touring productions of CATS. Here are a few of our favorites.


Naoimh Morgan (Rumpleteazer in UK and international tours, Rumpleteazer in film)

It looks like Morgan—whose resumé also includes ensemble parts in productions of Mary Poppins, West Side Story and Cinderella—is the only artist to play the same Cats role both onscreen and onstage.

Zizi Strallen (Demeter in UK tour and West End productions, Tantomile in film)

The gifted Strallen also played the title role in the UK tour and West End productions of Mary Poppins.

Freya Rowley (Tantomile on UK tour, Jellylorum in film)

In addition to her CATS stage work, Rowley performed in productions of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical and Jekyll and Hyde.

Kolton Krouse (Tumblebrutus on Broadway, ensemble in film)

Fun fact: The very fabulous Krouse was still a student at Juilliard when he first appeared in CATS on Broadway.

Corey John Snide (Coricopat/dance captain on Broadway, ensemble/creative team in film)

Another Juilliard grad, Snide also danced in the Broadway production of Carousel and was one of Billy Elliot's Billys back in the day.

ALMOST Judi Dench (ALMOST Grizabella/Jennyanydots in original West End cast, Old Deuteronomy in film)

Dench in the film version of Cats (Universal Pictures)

As we learned in that rather epic behind-the-scenes video, Dame Dench was thiiiiiiis close to dancing up a storm as Grizabella and Jennyanydots in the very first CATS cast—but then she snapped her Achilles tendon. What could have been!

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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