TEDxArcadiaUniversity Speaker: JoAnn Jansen
JoAnn Jansen, Choreographer/Producer/Director, is one of the most sought-after creative talents working in the industry today, with dozens of credits in film, television, commercials, and music videos.
As a choreographer, acting coach, and producer, JoAnn has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including actors Johnny Depp, John Travolta, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Aniston, Rachel McAdams, Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Antonio Banderas; producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Lawrence Bender; directors Ang Lee, Gore Verbinski, and Terry Gilliam; and singers Will.I.Am and Michael Bolton.
Some of the highlights of JoAnn’s career include:
- Choreographing dance and movement sequences in Academy Award winner Rango and Pirates of the Caribbean. In those films, star Johnny Depp and a team of dancers had their movements recorded through the state of the art motion capture process.
- Producing Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, a film based largely on events from her own life. She also has the distinction of performing a duet with the legendary dancer Patrick Swayze in that film.
Frequent collaborator John Travolta has said of JoAnn, "She is like a chameleon. She can cross-reference dances throughout history and come up with just the right movement that suits the character and the film. She is brilliant."
This creativity extends to other endeavors. JoAnn has served as an acting coach, training both seasoned actors and up and coming stars alike. She has also been the director of two short films, as well as a large-scale opera at the Budokan Theater in Tokyo, leading an international cast of performers including the Vienna Symphony, 40 Japanese dancers, and 8 opera singers from around the world.
What inspires you?
Complexity and the Unknown
What is your connection to passion and creativity?
I am most creative when faced with a challenge; when I don't know how to proceed, I get to be creative in overcoming it. But if a project or a job doesn't incite my creativity and passion, I wouldn't be able to do that project.