Laurieann Gibson attends The Abbey’s 16th annual Toy Drive for Children’s Hospital LA at The Abbey Food & Bar on September 21, 2021, in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
*Creative director and choreographer Laurieann Gibson is speaking out about her iconic career and working with stars such as Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and Diddy.
In addition to touring and choreographing dance routines for your favorite performers, Gibson has been part of several dance-related reality shows, such as The Dance Scene, Born to Dance, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dance Moms. She famously revealed in her memoir “Dance Your Dance: 8 Steps to Unleash Your Passion,” that she was fired via email by Gaga’s team. “I was taking too much spotlight,” Gibson wrote in her book.
“With Gaga, when you start out at the beginning, you actually build the IP and build the brand—I had to learn the hard way,” Gibson tells Complex. “The credit was a problem. The truth of my contribution was an issue. Now, you see the decline in how the brand is performing once I left. And maybe you won’t, but that’s just my truth.”
Gibson spoke further about her fallout with Gaga in her new interview with Complex. She also shared her thoughts on Beyoncé’s new world tour and working with Nicki Minaj. Check out excerpts from the interview below.
What’s the most surprising thing about working on a tour that concertgoers might not realize?
That opening night everything goes wrong. The show must always really go on. The beautiful thing is it’s not about the tricks and the lights. It only enhances the experience. It only enhances what you want to give your fans so that they can never, ever forget that feeling, and that feeling can stay with a person for a lifetime.
Beyoncé is currently on tour and clips of her performance have surfaced on social media. What are your thoughts about the snippets?
You know I love Bey. Everyone thinks that it’s easy to just get up on that stage, and be at that level that she’s at. And she’s just, like I said, Diana Ross, and then Bey, in my book. So she’s killing it. I can’t wait to see it, up close and personal.
There are a lot of people saying that she isn’t dancing as much. Do you believe there’s some truth to that?
Dancing has many different seasons and rhythms. If you’re doing that style of an 8-count, great. If you’re evolving it, and you’re moving, dancing doesn’t mean you have to be doing 39 million steps.
You know what I mean? I’m a choreographer, so movement speaks to me in different ways, at different times, for different reasons. I’m going to leave that one alone, because you know I should be working with Beyoncé. But unfortunately, I have Puff Daddy right now. So pray for me.
What about your work on both Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj’s tours hold a special place in your heart?
I remember when Gaga was absolutely not Gaga to the world, and it was just her and I in a broken-down dance studio, with no record deal and no album. And so I was able to design everything that became that brand. So I think everything is important to me, and everything matters. Whether it’s Jozzy, who’s just signed to Love Records, whether it’s Megan [Thee Stallion], standing on her own, and being stronger than ever. Everything matters.
It’s now Puff Daddy. I don’t know, he’s consistently, not only an icon, but a mogul who has created the blueprint for everyone standing, and bringing his new album back to the culture. It’s all challenging. It’s all kind of crazy when I think about it. Or whether it’s my own girl group that I have full ownership over for the first time in my career. So all the tours are great for me. Because the first time Gaga went on stage after I designed it, it was at a small club.
Nicki Minaj recently hinted on social media that she might start touring soon. What would you want to see from her at this point in her career?
I think a really good show. When I was working with her, she had the No. 1 hip-hop tour, The Pinkprint Tour, and thereafter. I think she should get back to that level of experience for her fans. They deserve it, and her music is great.
Read her full Complex interview here.
READ MORE: Laurieann Gibson Drops New ‘Dance’ Book to Help You ‘Live Your Passion’ [VIDEO]
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