The Most Memorable Dance Moments From the 2024 Academy Awards

2024 was a big year for dance at the Oscars, including a history-making performance, a heart-pumping ensemble number, and a surprise addition to the “In Memoriam” segment.

We’re still rooting for a “Best Choreography” category as dance continues to be an integral part to each year’s nominated films. But until then, we still enjoy seeing our beloved artform on the Dolby Theater stage.

“Wahzhazhe” from Killers of the Flower Moon

Eight Osage Nation dancers joined Scott George and the Osage Tribal Singers in a historic performance of “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon. George made Oscars history as the first Native American to receive a nomination for best original song with “Wahzhazhe.” He is also the first member of the Osage Nation to be nominated by the Academy. 

As the dancers and singers followed the drum against a sunset backdrop, they invited the international audience to witness a simultaneously intimate and boundless celebration. A groundbreaking performance, it marked the first time members of the Osage Nation, or of any indigenous community, has danced on the Oscars stage.

“I’m Just Ken” from Barbie

It’s safe to say that the Oscars felt the “Kenergy” after Ryan Gosling and his ensemble of Kens took to the stage with Barbie’s tongue-in-cheek power ballad, “I’m Just Ken,” which was also nominated for best original song. The number, choreographed by Mandy Moore, featured several members from the film’s original cast, including Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben-Adir, and was complete with a kickline, unapologetic melodrama, cardboard cutout–ography, and on-the-nose references to Jack Cole’s choreography for “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Oh, and Slash.

Best Actress winner Emma Stone later pointed to the performance as the culprit behind her tearing her dress. (Don’t worry, Emma, we were dancing too.)

The “In Memoriam” Segment

A welcome surprise for some and an irritating visual distraction for others, this year’s “In Memoriam” tribute featured an ensemble of dancers that accompanied Andrea and Matteo Bocelli as they sang the former’s hit “Time to Say Goodbye.” This was not the first time dance has appeared in the segment; in 1996, Savion Glover tapped to “Singin’ in the Rain” in a tribute to the late Gene Kelly, who passed away that year. This year’s performance included a subtle and touching moment for the late Chita Rivera, who died on January 30—a simple weight shift and slow-motion hip sway, facing Rivera’s photo on the projection screen.

While the dancers brought stunning synchronicity and reverent artistry to Moore’s second choreographed work of the night, the performance has earned pushback from audience members who found them and the Bocellis distracting. 

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