Veteran choreographer Fatima Robinson on bringing hip-hop dance to the mainstream
Q23:45Fatima Robinson: Choreographing Beyoncé, bringing hip-hop dance to the mainstream, and The Color Purple
Even if dance isn’t your thing, you’ve probably seen the work of hip-hop dancer and choreographer Fatima Robinson.
She’s worked with artists like Aaliyah, Dr. Dre and Tupac, she created the dance for Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) by the Backstreet Boys, and she got her big break as Michael Jackson’s choreographer for Remember the Time at the age of just 21. Her more recent work includes choreographing Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour as well as the Compton Tribute at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show.
Considered one of the most influential choreographers of our time, Robinson sees dance as more than just moving your body. In an interview with Q‘s Tom Power, she talks about her work as a form of storytelling and a spiritual experience.
“That’s part of why people hire me,” she says. “Not just the dance steps and the moves, but because I bring a lot more to the table. I pull out what people naturally have and give them permission to do it.”
Now, Robinson has brought her skills and talent to the new musical film adaptation of The Color Purple, which hits theatres on Christmas Day.