By Kristy Johnson.
It’s no wonder why Paul’s CV is extensive, when he’s willing to work with all different styles and environments. Having been mentored by the one and only Kenny Ortega, Paul’s choreographic career has taken off in leaps and bounds. At a young age, he has already secured gigs with the Twilight franchise, American comedy-drama series Hellcats, and Canada’s Got Talent.
Dance Informa caught up with Kenny Ortega’s protégée, to discuss the opportunities that have come his way.
Can you tell us how you managed to land the role of choreographing for Twilight?
Well, they were looking for a choreographer and my name got mentioned. The director called me and I met them on set while they were filming. They had very high security. It was all very quick! They said, when can you start? And I said tomorrow (laughs). So it was a very quick decision.
Which do you enjoy the most? Choreographing for film or TV?
Well, I love doing film because I can really take my time. I find film to be amazing, but I also love doing stage. It’s pretty special.
When working on a film, how much time do you have to put it all together?
It’s always different. There are always different factors that determine how long it will take. It’s a lot of work when working on a film.
How difficult is it to work with actors who don’t have a dance background?
Oh yeah, it’s a lot more difficult! But sometimes the best movement comes from that factor. We’ll get something traditional that could also work.
You work with a diverse range of dance styles. Which style do you feel most comfortable in?
I’m kind of into everything! I don’t really have a signature style. I enjoy doing every style, which I can evolve into. I started off as a break-dancer and hip hop dancer but I like jazz and ballet, so I can’t really tell you. Probably one of the reasons why I get to do what I do is because I do all styles. It helps me out a lot.
What you have accomplished in your career to date is amazing. You must feel blessed with all the opportunities?
Definitely, I feel very blessed! Having been mentored by Kenny Ortega has influenced my work ethic. He definitely inspires me.
Where do you look to for inspiration when choreographing?
Well, I look at photographs a lot. I look at photographs for shapes and I see choreography in everything. I could walk down the street and take choreography from cars. You know, patterns in which cars drive. Choreography is movement so I kind of just look at life and everything around me as inspiration. As far as people? There are plenty that I look up to.
Tell us about your work with Canada’s Got Talent.
I just finished producing Canada’s Got Talent. It’s been an awesome experience, producing and being the creative director for the show.
With Hellcats, the American cheerleading comedy-drama TV series, did you find any difficulty in incorporating dance styles with acrobatic cheer movements?
No, because my background is in gymnastics and Capoeira. I thought, ‘finally I get to do this’ (laughs). I really wanted to break down cheerleading and do movements that were illegal [in competitive cheer]. It was actually a joy to do. I didn’t find it a challenge at all. It was great!
What’s next for you?
I have a Disney Channel movie coming out for Halloween. I’m also working on a musical called Stage Fright, and I’m just finishing a documentary up too. I’m too busy! I’m getting more into directing now so there’s another transition in my life.
To find out more about Paul Becker visit Facebook.com/paulbeckerchoreographer or follow him: @paulbecker79
Photo: Paul Becker by Leecherry Photography