Ryan Heffington
Born(1973-06-07)June 7, 1973
Yuba City, California
Occupation(s)Dancer, choreographer
Years active1980—present
Websitehttp://www.sirheffington.com

Ryan Heffington (born June 7, 1973) is an American dancer and choreographer based in Los Angeles. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards for choreographing the music videos for Arcade Fire's "We Exist" (2013) and Sia's "Chandelier" (2014), winning a VMA Award for the latter.

Early life

Heffington was born in Yuba City, California. He has danced since he was young, but has never received any formal training. He moved from Yuba City to Los Angeles at the age of 18.[1]

Career

In the mid-1990s, Heffington co-created the sexy Psycho Dance Sho' with Bubba Carr, and in the late 2000s he was the artistic director for the experimental modern dance company Hysterica.[1] From 2006 to 2009, Heffington lead the dance troupe Fingered, which combined fast-paced Martha Graham-style choreography with genderbending costumes designed by Heffington.[2] He has performed at bars and clubs, as well as MOCA, LACMA, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Saturday Night Live, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the UCLA Hammer Museum and Coachella.[3]

Heffington is best known for choreographing the music videos for Arcade Fire's "We Exist" (2013) and Sia's "Chandelier" (2014),[4][5] both of which were nominated for Grammy Awards,[6] and the latter of which won him a VMA Award.[7] Other Sia videos that Heffington has choreographed include "Elastic Heart", "Big Girls Cry", "Cheap Thrills" and "The Greatest".[8] Sia and Heffington's collaborations have "done more to raise the standards of dance in pop music than nearly any current artist integrating the forms."[9] He has also worked with FKA Twigs and Britney Spears, and made several appearances on RuPaul's Drag Race.[10]

Heffington created the choreography for the science fiction series The OA, which debuted on Netflix in December 2016.[11]

More of his work can be seen in television, film and onstage around the world, including the first season finale of HBO's Euphoria, Prime Video's Transparent, Spike Jonze's commercials for Kenzo (winner of the highest honor, the Titanium Lion @ the 2017 Cannes Film Festival), Apple's “Welcome Homepod” featuring FKA Twigs, and Edgar Wright's critically acclaimed 2017 film Baby Driver.[12][13]

Heffington was the owner of The Sweat Spot, a dance studio in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.[14] The space offered classes for both professional dancers and beginners in a casual atmosphere. Heffington decided to open the studio after he had hosted a roving event called Sweaty Sundays.[1] Although the studio closed in 2020, Heffington still hosts Sweatfest and Wet Wednesdays on Instagram to thousands of dancers live.

More recently, Heffington choreographed Lin-Manuel Miranda's 2021 film adaptation of the Jonathan Larson musical tick, tick... BOOM![15] and made his acting debut in Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza.[16]

Filmography

Music Videos

Year Title Artist Notes
2012 "Fjögur píanó" Sigur Rós Choreographer
2014 "I Try to Talk to You" Hercules and Love Affair
"Chandelier" Sia
"We Exist" Arcade Fire
"Gold" Chet Faker
"Video Girl" FKA Twigs
"Gunshot" Lykke Li
2015 "Elastic Heart" Sia
"Big Girls Cry"
"What Kind of Man" Florence and the Machine
"Ship to Wreck"
"St Jude"
"Queen of Peace"/"Long & Lost"
"Anna" Will Butler
"King" Years & Years
2016 "Worship"
"Cheap Thrills" Sia
"The Greatest"
2017 "Rainbow"
"Destroyer" "TR/ST"
2018 "Thunderclouds" LSD
"Colors" Beck
2020 "La vita nuova" Christine and the Queens
2022 "King" and "Free" Florence and the Machine

Commercials

Year Commercial Notes
2014 FKA Twigs #throughglass Commercial for Google Glass Choreographer
2016 Kenzo World Commercial for Kenzo
2018 Welcome Home Commercial for Apple HomePod
Tiffany & Co. Spring 18 Commercial directed by Francis Lawrence
2021 Chanel n. 5 Commercial for Chanel

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2014 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography "Chandelier" (Sia) Won [17]
2015 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography "Gold" (Chet Faker) Nominated [18]
2015 UK Music Video Awards Best Choreography in a Video "Elastic Heart" (Sia) Won [19]
2017 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography "The Greatest" (Sia) Nominated [20]
UK Music Video Awards Best Choreography in a Video Nominated [21]
2022 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming Euphoria Won [22]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Dig Out the Spandex and Feel the Burn". The New York Times. 13 August 2009. Archived from the original on 1 May 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  2. ^ Vesilind, Emili (6 April 2008). "Real Trouper". Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016 – via LA Times.
  3. ^ Sasha Bronner Senior Reporter, The Huffington Post (28 July 2012). "Meet The Man Behind The Craziest Dance Studio In Town". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  4. ^ "2014 In Music Through The Eyes Of A Choreographer". NPR. Archived from the original on 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  5. ^ Heyman, Jessie (27 April 2015). ""Chandelier" Choreographer Ryan Heffington on Dancing in Spring's Best Denim". Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  6. ^ "Ryan Heffington on Choreographing Sia's 'Chandelier' and 'Elastic Heart' Videos". 16 January 2015. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Here's Your Full List of 2014 VMA Winners". MTV News. 25 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 November 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  8. ^ Adams, Char. "Sia Releases Haunting 'The Greatest' Music Video: Is It an Orlando Shooting Tribute?" Archived 2016-09-09 at the Wayback Machine, People magazine, September 6, 2016
  9. ^ Kourlas, Gia. "For Sia, Dance Is Where the Human and the Weird Intersect" Archived 2017-08-13 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, 19 July 2016, accessed 31 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Review: Movement Drives the Music at FKA twigs's 'Congregata'". The New York Times. 19 May 2015. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  11. ^ Renfro, Kim. "The genius behind Sia's music video choreography is the man who created the movements for 'The OA'" Archived 2017-01-18 at the Wayback Machine, Business Insider Australia, December 23, 2016.
  12. ^ Murphy, Mekado (27 June 2017). "How They Pulled Off the Perfectly Timed Stunts in ‘Baby Driver’" Archived 2019-03-28 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  13. ^ Fear, David (28 June 2017). "'Baby Driver': How Edgar Wright Staged the Crime Movie's Musical Action Scenes" Archived 2017-07-09 at the Wayback Machine, Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  14. ^ "The Sweat Spot". Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  15. ^ Evans, Greg (2020-01-27). "'Chandelier' Choreographer Ryan Heffington Joins Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'tick, tick…BOOM!' For Netflix". Deadline. Archived from the original on 2020-04-08. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  16. ^ "'Licorice Pizza' – A Conversation with P.T. Anderson About His New Slice of Nostalgia". The Village Voice. 2021-12-06. Archived from the original on 2021-12-28. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  17. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2014: Winners". MTV.com. August 8, 2014. Archived from the original on November 19, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  18. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2015: The Winners Are…". Billboard. August 30, 2015. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  19. ^ "UK Music video awards winners 2016". ukmva.com. 11 January 2017. Archived from the original on 19 September 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and the Weeknd Lead 2017 MTV VMAs Nominations as Gendered Categories Eliminated". People.com. 25 July 2017. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  21. ^ "UK MVA 2017 shortlist". ukmva.com. 23 September 2017. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Ryan Heffington - Emmy Awards and Nominations". Archived from the original on November 25, 2022. Retrieved November 25, 2022.