[12/13/07 - 02:50 PM]
Bravo Introduces Host, Mentor & Judges Leading the Way on "Step It Up & Dance"
Elizabeth Berkley, Jerry Mitchell, Vincent Paterson and Nancy O'Meara also sign onto the series, "where contestants will learn what it takes to make it big in the cutthroat dance industry."

[via press release from Bravo]



Celebrated Actress And Dancer Elizabeth Berkley Named Host

Tony Award Winning Director And Choreographer Jerry Mitchell To Serve As Mentor To The Cast Of Dancers

World-Renowned Director And Choreographer Vincent Paterson And Choreographer Nancy O'Meara Will Serve As Judges

NEW YORK � December 13, 2007 � Some of the most respected and brightest names in the dance industry will lead the way in Bravo's new reality competition series "Step It Up & Dance," produced by Emmy Award nominees Magical Elves, where contestants will learn what it takes to make it big in the cutthroat dance industry. Celebrated actress and dancer Elizabeth Berkley will serve as host and Emmy Award nominee and Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell ("Hairspray," Legally Blonde") will mentor the 12 dancers chosen from around the country, as they master every conceivable dance style, from ballet and ballroom to Broadway and burlesque.

World-renowned director and choreographer Vincent Paterson (Madonna's "Blond Ambition" Tour, Michael Jackson's "Bad" Tour), known for his creative work in film, television and music, and choreographer Nancy O'Meara ("Hannah Montana," "High School Musical Tour"), who has worked with some of the best selling artists currently touring arenas around the country, will serve as judges for the competition.

Whether it's a music video one week or a Vegas spectacular the next, Bravo's new dance series will feature challenges in which the dancers audition for a range of parts, designed to showcase their versatility and moves. As the competition gets fierce and contestants are eliminated, only one person will get the final "call back" and the chance to perform, with the ultimate dancer winning $100,000.

A versatile actress and accomplished dancer, Elizabeth Berkley has starred on film, television and stage in a variety of comedic and dramatic roles. Film roles include the critically acclaimed "Roger Dodger," Woody Allen's "Curse of the Jade Scorpion," Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday," "The First Wives Club," and "Showgirls," among others. Berkley first rose to prominence as Jesse Spano on the hit NBC series "Saved by the Bell." Since then she has had numerous recurring roles including "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order," "Without A Trace" and "CSI." She recently signed on as a new character on "CSI: Miami," where she will portray the ex-wife of David Caruso's character Horatio Caine. On stage, Berkley garnered rave reviews for her performance in the Broadway production of "Sly Fox" starring Richard Dreyfuss and in "Hurly Burly" opposite Ethan Hawke. She also starred opposite Eddie Izzard in Sir Peter Hall's West End production of "Lenny," which was choreographed by Vincent Paterson. Her extensive dance training began at age four with tap, jazz and ballet. Since that time she has continued to study with top choreographers and teachers in New York and LA and has performed with principles from the prestigious American Ballet Theatre and The New York City Ballet. Her passions also extend to Ask Elizabeth, the series of self-esteem workshops that she created and facilitates for girls around the country. (www.ask-elizabeth.com)

Emmy Award nominee and Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell made his Broadway debut as a director with the hit Tony Award nominated musical "Legally Blonde," for which he also served as choreographer. He was nominated for both the Tony and Drama Desks Awards for his choreography and the Drama Desk Award for his direction of the musical. Mitchell received a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for his dazzling choreography created for the 2005 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of "La Cage Aux Folles," having also been nominated for the Tony Award in the same category for the smash hit musical, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Previously, Mitchell had received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Award nominations for choreographing Broadway's Tony Award-winning "Hairspray" and Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations for choreographing "The Full Monty." He received an Emmy-nomination for choreographing "The Drew Carey Show." His memorable film work includes "In and Out," "Camp," "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "Scent of a Woman." On Broadway, Mitchell also choreographed the hit revival of "Gypsy," starring Bernadette Peters. He is one of the only choreographers to ever have three Broadway musicals running simultaneously � a distinction that has occurred twice, in 2002 and yet again in 2005 with the simultaneous runs of "Hairspray," "La Cage Aux Folles" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Prior to those productions, Mitchell choreographed the Broadway revivals of "The Rocky Horror Show" for which he received a Drama Desk nomination, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (both on stage and film) and the national tour of "Jekyll & Hyde." Mitchell proudly conceives, directs and choreographs "Broadway Bares," a comedy burlesque performed annually for the charity Broadway Cares.

World-renowned director and choreographer Vincent Paterson has had an expansive career in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry including film, world theater, Broadway, concert tours, opera, music videos, television and commercials. Paterson is currently engrossed in directing and writing Cirque Du Soleil's "Elvis" set to open at Las Vegas' CityCenter in 2009. He collaborated with Michael Jackson and Madonna on numerous projects including directing and choreographing Madonna's "Blond Ambition Tour," that was the centerpiece for the documentary, "Truth or Dare." He also created Madonna's legendary "Marie Antoinette/Vogue" performance for the MTV Music Awards. He directed and choreographed the "Bad Tour" for Jackson as well as conceiving and choreographing "Smooth Criminal" and many other Jackson music videos and live performances. He also directed Michael Jackson's video "Blood on the Dance Floor." Paterson directed and choreographed the musical sequences in the film "Dancer In The Dark," which captured the Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Among the many films he's choreographed are "The Birdcage," "Evita" and "Closer" for director Mike Nichols. He also directed the critically acclaimed "Manon" for both the Los Angeles Opera and the Berlin Staatsopera which was conducted in Los Angeles by Placido Domingo.

Nancy O'Meara is a noted dancer, choreographer, director and mentor who has performed with countless artists including Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, LL Cool J, Britney Spears, Mike Myers, Usher, Martin Short, Reba McEntire, Vanessa Williams and Paula Abdul, to name a few. She's choreographed and directed world tours for artists Hilary Duff, Jesse McCartney, Aly and AJ, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Colbie Caillat and six world tours with multi-platinum selling artist and Latin superstar Chayanne. Her choreography can most recently be seen on the "High School Musical" concert tour, with Hayden Panettiere on PBS' "A Capitol Fourth," with Ashley Tisdale on NBC's "Christmas at Rockefeller Center" and on Disney's hit television series "Hannah Montana." She has also choreographed top music videos including "Fly" for Hilary Duff, "She's No You" for Jesse McCartney, "Potential Break Up Song" for Aly and AJ, "He Said, She Said" for Ashley Tisdale and "Monkey to The Man" for Grammy Award winner Elvis Costello. Her feature film dance credits include "The Wedding Planner," "Thirteen Going on Thirty," "The Country Bears," "Forest Gump," "Austin Powers: Gold Member" and "Clerks II." She has also performed in a variety of specials including the Grammy Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, the American Music Awards, the Academy Awards, the Billboard Awards, and the Latin Grammy Awards and on television shows that include "The Tonight Show," "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "Chicago Hope."

Created by Gunnar Wetterberg, "Step It Up & Dance" is produced by Magical Elves. Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz ("Top Chef," "Project Runway") and Gunnar Wetterberg are executive producers.

Bravo is a program service of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Bravo has been an NBC cable network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980. For more information visit www.bravotv.com.

  [december 2007]  


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