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Michael Peters
Born Michael Douglas Peters
August 6, 1948(1948-08-06)
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died September 21, 1994 (aged 46)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Occupation Choreographer, dancer
Years active 1970s-1994

Michael Douglas Peters (6 August 1948 - 21 August 1994) was an American choreographer.



Peters was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in New York City to an African-American father and Jewish mother. His first major breakthrough came when he did choreography for Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" in 1975. He went on to stage other memorable dance sequences for music videos, including Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield" (in which he has a brief cameo) and Lionel Richie's "Hello" (in which he also has a brief cameo as the dance instructor of Lionel Richie's blind love interest).

However, he was most recognized for his choreography work in Michael Jackson's videos. Especially the smash hit "Thriller", directed by John Landis, and "Beat It" directed by Bob Giraldi, which is vaguely reminiscent of "West Side Story": Peters co-stars as one of two gang leaders who prepare for a dramatic showdown/knifefight, which is averted at the last moment by Jackson. Peters is dressed all in white, and wears sunglasses during the piece.

Peters danced with Talley Beatty, Alvin Ailey, Bernice Johnson, and Fred Benjamin, and worked with Michael Bennett. Bennett and Peters shared a 1982 Tony Award for Best Choreography for their work on the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. In 1985 he directed and choreographed the Ellie Greenwich jukebox musical Leader of the Pack.

Fred Astaire gave Michael Peters a personal award as either "The Greatest Living Dancer" or "The Greatest Living Choreographer".

Peters died in Los Angeles, California of an AIDS related illness at 46.

Awards and nominations

  • 1982 Tony Award for Best Choreography – Dreamgirls
  • 1987 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography – Liberty Weekend
  • 1993 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography – The Jacksons: An American Dream
  • 1994 American Choreography Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Feature Film – What's Love Got to Do with It


External links



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