Andrew Kyrzyk does not allow himself to be defined by others. This internationally acclaimed dancer can be found on any given day teaching choreography to the cast of a Disney film or playing a contorted Vampire while being directed by Guillermo del Toro. He’s as apt to be creating magic behind the camera as in front of it. Disney, The Family Channel, FX, and others lean on this exceptionally talented and innovative dancer/choreographer/sometimes-actor to bring fresh and unorthodox ideas to their productions. Outside of the box thinking with a staunch work ethic; that’s Andrew’s reputation and the reason for his jammed calendar. As someone who grew up longing to dance and entertain, being so busy is proof to Kyrzyk that all of his hard work and focus was well placed. The lines separating creative vocations become increasingly blurred these days and those like Andrew are benefitting from it due to their own talent and originality.
Backstage is a Canadian television series about students at the Keaton School of the Arts who long to become successful in a variety of entertainment vocations. As a lifelong dancer, Kyrzyk has a great deal in common with the characters of the show. The series has received numerous recognitions from the industry including nominations from the Canadian Screen Awards, Directors Guild of Canada, and others for its depiction of reality in pursuing a creative career. As the Associate Choreographer and a lead prima dancer, Andrew was key in the show’s final form. The show’s choreographer [Melissa JJ Moore] personally enlisted him because of his exemplary talent. Kyrzyk’s time on the production included the second season, working with Director X; known for his work on music videos for Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, and films like Undone. Andrew notes, “Director X has done a lot of very famous music videos. He’s in tune with the needs of dancers to perform well and was really great at communicating what he needed from the dancers while respecting our craft.”
One might not expect an admired dancer to find himself appearing on the FX series The Strain but that’s the kind of unexpected experience that Andrew revels in. While he appeared as the dance double in the Disney film ZOMBIES, Kyrzyk was an on-camera vampire for The Strain. The series accolades include Nominations ranging from Motion Picture Sound Editors USA to Directors Guild of Canada and winner of the Critics Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series (2014). In addition to Kyrzyk’s dance physique, his expertise with abstract movement convinced the production team of The Strain that he could manifest the unusual physicality they desired for the vampires featured in the story. Andrew and the other “vampire actors” worked closely with Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro in the early stages of the show to define the movements of the vampire vocabulary. Roberto Campanella, the choreographer of The Strain, was so impressed with Andrew’s work that he hired the dancer to assist him on a Strain music video called “Vamps Boom” for the Comic-Con Festival. The video presented a comedic twist with sexy female vampires and was shown at the legendary gathering in the US. From hours in the makeup chair for prosthetics to experiencing the making of a life cast (used to create his character’s beheading on the show), Andrew concedes that working on The Strain wasn’t always comfortable but the final results were most impressive.
Embracing the unusual while searching for a way to make every project better; this has been the constant goal of Andrew Kyrzyk. Yes, he is a dancer and choreographer but there is an added element of curiosity in his career path. This son of Canada is adamant about creating his own arc in the industry, though he’s always appreciative of working with those he admires. Andrew confirms, “My association with Disney and Family Channel helped benefit my career because not only my dancing but also my choreography was shown on these networks which both reach a lot of people. At the same time, I get to work with one of the most creative minds in film and TV, the legendary Guillermo del Toro. As long as things keep interesting me, I’ll keep saying yes.”