Interview with Choreographer Aakomon Jones
Aakomon "AJ" Jones has built a name for himself as choreographer of the PITCH PERFECT empire. Not only did he work on the original but the sequel and the highly anticipated PITCH PERFECT 3. His work will soon be seen in in two new HBO series - WATCHMEN and LOVECRAFT COUNTRY. Most recently his work includes the blockbuster feature film BLACK PANTHER, THE VOICE FINALE with Charlie Puth, STEP SISTERS, Ang Lee’s BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK, the romcom HOW TO BE SINGLE, and the James Brown biopic GET ON UP. AJ’s experience and unique talent has led him to work with an impressive group of filmmakers and actors in movies such as THE RUM DIARY, NIGHTS OF RODANTHE, CENTER STAGE 2: TURN IT UP and DREAMGIRLS. His extensive compilation of work also extends into television, having choreographed for the HBO drama series VINYL directed by Martin Scorsese, SUPER FUN NIGHT, DANCING WITH THE STARS, COMMUNITY, and THE VOICE, which he was also Season 4’s Performance Producer. AJ’s recent commercials include PEPSI, NINTENDO, LINCOLN, and XFINITY.
A Decatur, Georgia native, AJ's love of music led him to connect with developing artists in Atlanta's music scene. Despite his lack of formal training, AJ was always a natural, and soon began his dance career performing with artists in Atlanta such as Monica and TLC. He did so well that he ended up joining their highly anticipated “Fanmail” Tour.
After establishing himself as a respected dancer, AJ then received his first big break as a choreographer working with the R&B group 112. AJ has choreographed numerous music videos and countless television performances, including the Best Song Nominees for the 2008 Academy Awards. He has since segued into Creative Directing, working with Usher on his intimate "One Night Stand" US Tour in 2008 and the music video for "OMG,” which was nominated for a 2010 MTV VMA for Best Choreography.
AJ’s success has led him to choreograph for some of the most renowned artists such as Madonna, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Jason Derulo, Faith Hill, Will Smith, Janelle Monae, Kelly Rowland, Mariah Carey, The Backstreet Boys, Aaliyah, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Hailee Steinfeld, and more. He is unmistakably one of today's hottest choreographers and creative directors for film, television, commercials, and live tours. His choreography can best be described by the clean lines, musicality, sharpness, and versatility that he brings to the forefront of all his projects.
1. Please tell us what made Aakomon Jones want to follow dance?
I think it was instilled in me early on cause I have a music loving, talented, dancing and partying family. We still play music and dance around each others kitchens and living rooms.
2. What is something that you always wanted to do in your career but have not had the time to yet?
I’ve been pretty inspired by live theater shows and have interests in that world.
3. Who are some dancers or choreographers that inspired you early on in your career?
Brooke Payne, Devyne Stephens, Aljamaal Jones, Rich+Tone Taluega, Swoop, Rico Beard, Flii Stylz, Fatima Robinson.
4. Tell us what catches your eye when looking for dancers you want to work with. What are some key things that are important to you?
It’s evolved over time I think. Most times the focus is set by the project itself. Generally I appreciate seeing either raw and extreme, or centered and precise.
5. If you didn't pursue dance what would be your next career choice? Automotive Engineer
6. What are some other styles of dance you wish you trained in but never did?
7. What is your Top 5 Favorite Music Videos ( Dance Wise that you have been in or choreographed)
When you say “Top 5”, I’m taking that as “which were the funnest to work on". These videos come to mind -
Monica’s “Angel Of Mine”,
Ciara’s “Dance Like We’re Making Love”,
8. Who was your favorite artist to work with and why?
I don’t have a favorite, each occupy their own space in my “Hall of Fame”.
9. How was it starting out in ATL?
Awesome! I wouldn’t rewrite one word of my experience.
10. If you had to compare your dance style to a superhero who would it be?
Silver Surfer Lol
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