To the world, she’s an icon, a Pop queen, and in many ways…other-worldy.
Yet few see what goes into the making of Beyonce, and even fewer are privy to be part of the process.
Acclaimed Creative Director Frank Gatson Jr. belongs to the latter and has been an integral component of ‘Beyonce – The Performer’ from her early Destiny’s Child days right through to her ‘Grown Woman’ status of today.
And while details surrounding King B’s new ‘Mrs. Carter Show World Tour’ have been soaked in secrecy, the key players in the trek – Gatson and her team of dancers (some familiar, some new) – have spoken to Dance Spirit magazine about what the build-up to the tour has been like.
Peep more pics and quotables below…
Frank Gatson on ‘Mrs Carter Show’ build-up:
“This year’s tour audition process was the Super Bowl. We saw 800 girls and once we got down to 100, we paid close attention to who was professional and magical. Beyonce was very clear on who to pick for the tour—she means business. She’s hands-on and she wants her dancers to shine like stars.
“We show Beyoncé at least four versions of each song. She wants options to choose from because she’s done all kinds of dance, from ballet to tap. She wants to have fun dancing onstage for two hours, so she has to love all of it. She wants to do everything the correct way—the best way. She doesn’t want watered-down choreography. She has such respect for dance. And she will do almost anything as long as she remains a lady. She has class with everything she does, even a booty shake. She knows technique will keep your movement classy. When you mix ballet with street movement, you get the Beyonce brand. We call it country fried chicken with hot sauce.”
Dance captain Ashley Everett (first from left) talks heading up Bey’s dancers since 2009:
“Don’t let the hair flips, heels and booty shaking confuse you. Beyonce’s choreography is very diverse—we do it all. I have to know all the choreography, counts and timing. I pay attention to every detail.”
Interesting notes on ‘Mrs. Carter Show World Tour’:
* A total of seven choreographers worked on the tour, but Gatson, ‘Single Ladies’ routine creator JaQuel Knight, and Chris Grant handle the bulk of the work.
* The show will feature eight female dancers, and just two male dancers – Les Twins (pictured).
* The eight dancers were required to wear all black, and if Beyonce was in the room, they also had to wear heels.
* Though primarily female, “camp Beyonce” -as the dancers are known-represent a host of different cities including Paris, California, Perth, Montreal, NYC, and more.
* Rehearsals often begun at 9am and did not have a definitive end time.
* The Mrs. Carter Show, which kicks off this Sunday in Serbia, has sold out almost all of its near-50 global dates.
Needless to say, we can’t wait! Roll on the tour — and new single.