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Lion’s share of the work

February 17, 2010

Published by Metro

Be it from a lioness or gazelle, a zebra or cheetah, Brigette Dunn knows every female action in every scene of “The Lion King.”

“Any time you see movement or dancing, I’m required to know what steps those are,” says Dunn, female dance captain of the show. “I help maintain the integrity of the choreography as originally set by [choreographer] Garth Fagan.”

In addition to dance captain, Dunn is also the musical’s dance swing. A sort of super-understudy, she fills in for any and all sick or injured female dancers.

The Brookline native was part of the first national tour of “The Lion King” in 2002 and even met her husband, a former percussionist in the show, while touring.

Creators of the multiple award-winning production use elaborate masks and puppets to portray the animals.

“What [director] Julie Taymor did, she created a sense of duality between the humans, the performers and the puppets,” says Dunn. “She wanted to honor the intelligence of the audience, didn’t want to pretend that there was no one behind the puppets manipulating them…In its splendor, it’s actually very simplistic.”

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