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Alan Johnson (February 18, 1937 – July 7, 2018)[1] was a three-time Emmy Award-winning American choreographer, best known for his work on Mel Brooks films and for restaging Jerome Robbins' original choreography in live productions of West Side Story in the United States and internationally. Johnson was linked to West Side Story since making his Broadway debut in the show in 1957.[2]

Alan Johnson
Born(1937-02-18)February 18, 1937
DiedJuly 7, 2018(2018-07-07) (aged 81)
OccupationDirector, Choreographer
Years active1957–2018

He brought the West Side Story dance style into the mainstream when he choreographed several GAP clothing commercials in 2000. This commercial earned him an American Choreography award. Along with the GAP/WestSide advertisements, Johnson also choreographed commercials for Dubonnet and Freixenet Champagne.


Relationship with Mel BrooksEdit

Johnson choreographed musical numbers in several Brooks films, such as the infamous "Springtime for Hitler" number in The Producers, the "Spanish Inquisition" dance number from the film, History of the World, Part I and "Puttin' On the Ritz" in Young Frankenstein. Johnson also directed Brooks in the 1983 film To Be or Not to Be.[2]



  1. ^ Wild, Stephanie. "Choreographer Alan Johnson Passes Away". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Harrison Smith (July 10, 2018). "Alan Johnson, choreographer for Broadway and Mel Brooks, dies at 81". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2018-07-11.

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