2010 Miriam Nelson

Dancer and choreographer Miriam Nelson played a key role in Disney history when she staged the dances and performances throughout the park for the opening day celebration at Disneyland. The performances included the Frontierland appearance by Davy Crockett stars Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen, and the character-filled opening of Fantasyland. The opening day broadcast was seen by a record-breaking television audience of 90 million. In the 1960s, Miriam was asked to stage three shows at Disneyland. She put together a new version of The Golden Horseshoe Revue, and her version ran virtually unchanged for the next 31 years. In 1968, she staged a completely new version of Fantasy on Parade, which traveled down Main Street for many Christmases afterward. And she staged the 1969 show On Stage USA, which ran for several months in Tomorrowland and featured a rotating cast of guest stars. Next, Miriam staged the first Disney on Parade show. The arena show – which Miriam described as a bigger undertaking than Disneyland’s opening day celebration -- featured a series of production numbers showcasing Disney stars and classic films, plus a closing number that gathered as many as 50 Disney characters on stage together. The show launched in 1969 and toured the country and eventually much of the world. In addition to her work for Disney, Miriam has had a successful career as a choreographer and director in film and television, and has worked with many of the greatest stars of our time. Miriam published her autobiography, My Life Dancing With the Stars, in 2009.
 

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