Super Bowl Choreographer: “You want it to be campy”

The choreographer said they thought the sharks would be a big deal.

Singer Katy Perry performs during halftime of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Katy Perry’s halftime show is in the record books as the most watched halftime show in Super Bowl history. 118.5 million viewers tuned in to see Perry, and her special guests Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot.

RJ Durell is not a football fan. But, he is a choreographer and this was his first run at the Super Bowl halftime event. We spoke to Durell to find out where all the wild ideas came from. Durell told us everything you saw Super Bowl night was all new. “One thing Katy Perry is – she never wants to repeat anything. This was all specific for the Super Bowl.”

What about the Left Shark?

Even Katy Perry Tweeted about it after the Super Bowl.

Durell said, “We just kind of told them to go wild on that part… You want it to be funny. You want it to be campy.” Durell said the public’s reaction was perfect. It was exactly what they were going for.

“We thought the sharks were going to be a big deal. But, we didn’t anticipate this kind of attention on that,” Durell told us.

A Lion at the Super Bowl

Some people thought it was pretty funny to see a Lion at the Super Bowl. They referred to the Detroit Lions and said this was the only time a Lion would be at the Big Game.

Durell said, “I thought the Lion was pretty spectacular.”

Did Katy Perry Pay?

There was a question early on about if the halftime performer would be forced to pay the NFL for the right to perform at the Super Bowl. Durell put that rumor to rest. “No. Katy’s not going to pay to play. That’s not how she rolls…Katy paid me. She gets paid and then we get paid,” he said.

Durell started his career choreographing for Madonna. At the time, he thought that was incredibly exciting. Eight years later, Durell told us the Super Bowl is at the top of his list. “I’m hoping they ask me back again next year. I’m ready,” he said.


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