JOHN CARRAFA is known both in Hollywood and on Broadway as one of the most innovative and original choreographers working today. He is the only choreographer to receive two Tony Nominations, an Obie, a Lortel and Dora Awards in addition to Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Nominations all in the same year for his work on and Off-Broadway. He also won the World Dance Award and the Media Choreography Award for his film and television choreography.
His work can currently be seen in the Netflix series MANIAC and the Disney Channel film FREAKY FRIDAY. Upcoming, he choreographed Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish in the film THE KITCHEN; created the 1922 dances for the period drama THE CHAPERONE written by Julian Fellowes; and made a fight dance for a CGI unicorn in the new SYFY series HAPPY! Other television credits include seasons of Steven Soderbergh’s THE KNICK, HBO’s SUCCESSION, EMPIRE, TRANSPARENT, NASHVILLE, ELEMENTARY, THE BLACKLIST, THE COMEDIANS, NURSE JACKIE, ROYAL PAINS, BIG LOVE, and UGLY BETTY. After working as choreographer on NASHVILLE, he became a director on that show.
As an innovator in film, he’s enjoyed shifting between a wide variety of time periods and styles of dance. He pioneered the use of motion capture technology to create a Nicholas Brothers–style tap dance for Robert Zemeckis’ THE POLAR EXPRESS and created the iconic sexy mambo for Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. He originated the dance-off for Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway in BRIDE WARS, swing dancing for J.D.Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) in REBEL IN THE RYE, a ballet solo for Mark Wahlberg in THE OTHER GUYS, and a decadent gala ball in 1901 for the Stephen Soderbergh TV show THE KNICK.
His Broadway credits include original choreography for the groundbreaking musical URINETOWN and Steven Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS, both of which he received Tony Nominations for. Other collaborations with Steven Sondheim include A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts Sondheim Festival. Also on Broadway, he choreographed Strindberg’s DANCE OF DEATH starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren, DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES with Michael Crawford, and The Beach Boys musical GOOD VIBRATIONS, which he also directed and co-wrote.
In addition to working on a number of Shakespeare, Checkov, and other classic plays, he’s closely collaborated with some of our greatest playwrights, including Tom Stoppard, Wendy Wasserstein, James Lapine, Paula Vogel, Terrence McNally, A.R. Gurney, and Sara Ruhl.
Always looking for unique challenges, he staged the FINDING NEMO live action puppet show at Disney World in Orlando, running since 2005; Wagner’s RING CYCLE with Placido Domingo at the Washington National Opera; and was for several years creative director and producer of live television events for the National Basketball Association, bringing new technologies to live televised arena entertainment.