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Thread: Debbie Allen, Trainer for Fame

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Debbie Allen, Trainer for Fame

    [IMG]images/img/dallen_1.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]images/img/dallen_2.jpg[/IMG]

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    eny
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    She has done a lot of high level production, and choreography. I am somewhat surprised she has agreed to this show. Cash is cash I guess.

  3. #3
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    I guess so eny.

    I haven't seen much of her lately.
    I did hear she did some show with her sister (how vague am I? )
    "That's Numberwang!"

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    Oh YEAH!!! Aptly_Named's Avatar
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    yeah, just a little obscure show

    I'm happily surprised that she'd sign on for the reality version. Maybe I'll watch.

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    eny
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    Official bio,

    Debbie Allen was born in Houston, Texas, where her father, Andrew Allen, was a dentist and her mother, Vivian Ayers Allen, was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer. Her sister, Phylicia Rashad, became well known for her role as Claire Huxtable on the television series THE COSBY SHOW.

    As a child, Allen tried to take ballet classes at the Houston Foundation for Ballet, but she was rejected for reasons her mother thought were discriminatory. Allen began learning dance by studying privately with a former dancer from the Ballet Russes and later by moving with her family to Mexico City where she danced with the Ballet Nacional de Mexico. Allen reauditioned for the Houston Foundation for Ballet in 1964, and this time was admitted on a full scholarship and became the company's first black dancer.

    After high school, Allen hoped to attend North Carolina School of Arts, but when she was rejected she decided to pursue a B.A. at Howard University (1971) with a concentration in classical Greek literature, speech, and theater. During her college years, she continued to dance with students at the university and with choreographer Michael Malone's dance troupe. After graduating in 1971, Allen relocated to New York City where she would develop her talents as a dancer, actress, and singer in her appearances on Broadway, and eventually in television shows and movies.

    Allen's Broadway experience began in 1971 when she became a member of the chorus in "Purlie," the musical version of Ossie Davis' "Purlie Victorious." The following year, when chorus member George Faison left the show to form the Universal Dance Experience, Allen became his principal dancer and assistant. By 1973 Allen returned to Broadway and for two years she played the role of Beneatha Younger in "Raisin," a musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun."

    Allen began receiving critical attention in 1980, when she appeared in the role of Anita in the Broadway revival of "West Side Story," which earned her a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award. The next year she made her movie debut in the film version of E.L. Doctorow's novel RAGTIME, and then appeared in the hit movie FAME, with a small part as the dance teacher Lydia Grant. When the movie was turned into a television series of the same name, Allen returned as Lydia Grant and developed the role which brought her recognition by international audiences. She remained on the show until it went off the air in 1987, serving as a choreographer, and eventually as a director and producer.

    During the 1980s Allen also acted in the television movie WOMEN OF SAN QUENTIN (1983), appeared in Richard Pryor's movie JO JO DANCER, YOUR LIFE IS CALLING (1985), and played Charity in the Broadway revival of "Sweet Charity" (1986). In 1988 she became director of A DIFFERENT WORLD, and helped turn it into a Top 20 television hit. The next year Allen hosted her first television special on ABC, THE DEBBIE ALLEN SHOW, and later that year she directed the television musical POLLY, which was followed in 1990 by POLLY: ONE MORE TIME. During the 1990-1991 season Allen directed episodes of NBC's FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR and QUANTUM LEAP. Allen was a choreographer for the Academy Awards show from 1991 to 1994, and in 1992 she produced and directed the television movie STOMPIN' AT THE SAVOY.

    Allen remained active throughout the late 1990s. In 1997 she realized a decades-long dream by producing Steven Spielberg's epic AMISTAD. The following year, she directed the musical "Brothers of the Knight" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


    -- Zita Allen

  6. #6
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    I didn't know about AMISTAD.

    Thanks for this Eny.
    I can't recall seeing anything of her since Fame.
    Looks like se's been very busy behind the scenes.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  7. #7
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    I always thought she was so overwrought on Fame.
    I always wantrd her to lighten up a little.

    I get you have to be that intense but man it was draining on my energy[/i].
    I can't imagine how she got through playing the part.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  8. #8
    eny
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    I think she probably brought a little too much "real life" into the Fame part. Dance instructors are a pretty humorless bunch.
    (I don't care if it's killing you , thats what you HAVE to do, if you don't like it there are a hundred who will take your place)
    If she were playing another part she could go outside of her regular experience.
    I knew about what she had been up to, which was why I was sort of surprised at the jump to "Reality TV". Her last thing was getting Fame to broadway .
    Watching American Idol must have killed her, and thats why she "jumped in" . I don't know what she thought of AAG

  9. #9
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Yep, I think she was pretty authentic (not that I'm a dancer).

    I think she probably thought the same about AAG as the rest of us
    "That's Numberwang!"

  10. #10
    eny
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    Debbie Allen Interview
    must have real player

    A little insight from the lady herself on why her show is different.

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