When you think of Motown artists like The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips and more, I bet you see them and hear them simultaneously! That’s because not one of those groups ever stood still! Their collective choreographies became as iconic as their collective harmonies. I used to think they made up all those moves themselves and then I discovered Cholly Atkins, the brilliant dance-maker who fashioned all the behind-the-scenes vocal choreography of Motown! WOW!
If you know Cholly at all, you probably know him as a tap dancer because he had a wildly successful partnership with Charles "Honi” Coles, appearing on Broadway and touring with big bands like Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong. Cholly Atkins’ choreography continues to influence and inspire us even today. With what became their signature song, The Four Tops reached the world with "Reach Out (I'll Be There)".
"To me, it felt like a chant, almost religious - a song of hope for the world." - Duke Fakir, singer of The Four Tops
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