The famed choreographer and creative director behind superstars such as Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry is offering an inside look into her genius with the new docuseries “Laurieann Gibson: Beyond The Spotlight” premiering March 2 and airing Friday nights on Lifetime.
The show follows her team at BoomKack Worldwide as they work with an impressive array of clients including Sean “Puffy” Combs, with whom she first blossomed at Bad Boy Entertainment; Fantasia Barrino, Tamar Braxton, French Montana and many more.
Gibson hopes her series will inspire young people and change today’s accepted narrative.
“It’s so difficult for them on Instagram to just feel like everything has to be instant,” she told Tasty Clips. “My show is pulling back the covering to a process that really promotes greatness and perfects the gift. It gives the young artist and visionary the power to get comfortable in the process and surrender what’s inside of them versus what they feel they have to mimic or match overnight.”
Though rarely noted, she was actually one of the renowned Fly Girls who danced for millions weekly in the 1990s landmark comedy series “In Living Color,” though Jennifer Lopez gets all the shine.
“Her butt was bigger than mine,” Gibson said.
The classically trained dancer who studied at the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Company, also rose in the hip hop scene during the time of the infamous beef between Bad Boy and Death Row Records that led to the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.
“I talk about it a little bit on my show because very sadly I was there with Big the night he passed,” she said. “So I do have a very intimate connection to that evening, but I never ever felt in fear because I was so submerged in the creative process.”
“The thing about Bad Boy is it was so groundbreaking. It was happening in real time and because I was the dancing girl, the visionary, the weirdo from Canada, they had a natural way of protecting me and covering me.”
She also credits her Jamaican mother for instilling a consciousness about the energy she put out in an industry spotted with rampant chauvinism. Like her dear friend and record label giant Andre Harrell reminded her the other day, she was always very good at never allowing herself to be alone in the room – that she would never expose herself and instinctually understood that the pool of sharks she was swimming in was just that.
Up next is “8 Count,” a Fox drama based on her life, produced and steered musically by longtime friend Mary J. Blige that Gibson calls her “Bob Fosse moment.”
While she absolutely loves Justin Timberlake as an artist, she wasn’t as impressed with his Super Bowl halftime show; thinks Puff Daddy and The Family should be considered and would welcome a shot at producing it.
“I still love the art of razzle dazzle in entertainment,” Gibson said. “It’s the world’s biggest stage. I don’t want to feel like I’m at a club. I don’t need you to be intimate. I need you to entertain. I want a costume. I want magic. Ultimately, if I was able to collaborate with any artist, I would change the world in that moment and definitely make the world dance at one time.”
“Yes, everyone can be taught,” said Gibson, who choreographed the films “Alfie,” “Honey” and “Beyond The Lights.” “I think about what I learned from my time with Gaga, who was someone who heard the music differently. Most people would say, ‘Oh you have no rhythm.’ I found and understood the genius in really learning to create and paint with the individual’s interpretation of what they’re hearing where in the music. So absolutely everyone can dance. It’s the flow of life, you know.”
CLIPPETTES: Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me Tour with DJ Khaled and Kehlani arrives at the Forum on March 2 …
Patti LaBelle is joining the cast of OWN’s “Greenleaf” as a friend of Lady Mae (Lynn Whitfield) who is described as a famous motivational Christian empire leader …
UCLA’s Royce Hall on March 3 presents a Tribute to the Jazz Epistles with Abdullah Ibrahim, who played with South Africa’s first recorded jazz group as Dollar Brand, and his new band Ekaya with Freddie Hendrix …
Chris Tucker has confirmed that he and Jackie Chan are working on “Rush Hour 4” …
Shaun White’s Air + Style festival returns March 3 and 4 to Echo Park with Phoenix, Zedd, Gucci Mane, DRAM, Tinashe and much more.
TASTY QUIP: “I don’t want the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to take away from the fact that the black people who have been honored by nominations absolutely deserved their nominations. Daniel earned that sh**. Mary J. earned that sh**. Octavia earned that sh**. Denzel earned his. – Best Director and Original Screenplay Nominee JORDAN PEELE (“Get Out!”) to Deadline
TC ON TV: March 3 – “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” (OWN): Honoring Danai Gurira (“Black Panther”); Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”), Tessa Thompson (“Westworld”) and Lena Waithe (“Master of None”). “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Charles Barkley, Migos
March 4 – “The 90th Annual Academy Awards” (ABC): Mahershala Ali, Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis are among the presenters with performances by Andra Day, Miguel, Common and nominee Mary J. Blige. “Unsung” (TV1): Trick Daddy “Uncensored” (TV1): Rick Ross “Mike Tyson Mysteries” (Adult Swim): New adventures of the wacky paranormal solving crew.
March 5 – “Sister Circle” (TV1): The live hit morning show has moved locally to 9 a.m.
March 6 – “Black Lightning” (CW): Billy Woodruff (“Honey: Rise Up and Dance“) directs tonight’s episode. “Oprah at The Apollo” (OWN): Lin-Manuel Miranda, Yara Shahidi, 2 Dope Queens and Stephen Colbert
March 7 – “Hap & Leonard” (Sundance): James Purefoy and Michael K. Williams are back to face off with a storm and the Klan in this six-part, third-season adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s “The Two-Bear Mambo.” Louis Gossett Jr., Corbin Bernsen, Andrew Dice Clay and vocalist Curtis Harding are new additions. “Hamilton” One Shot to Broadway” (Ovation): Tells the story behind the biggest musical show in America.
March 8 – “Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Complete Second Season” (Netflix): Luke Cage (Mike Colter) will once again recur on the series. “She Started It” (Fuse): This documentary, shot in Silicon Valley, New York, Vietnam, Mississippi and France, looks at five diverse young women entrepreneurs in the tech field. “Top Chef” (Bravo): At press time, New York chef Adrienne Cheatham (Le Bernardin, Red Rooster) was in the running for tonight’s 15th season finale. She and previously ousted Oakland chef Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen) can still be voted for as Fan Favorite.
TASTY QUIP: “The world is filled with way too many bright people for us to still have the problems that we have in the world. It’s going to be our shame if we don’t sit together and create thought in people who invest with consideration to care to solve the world’s problems. If we can do all these things we can, digitally, technologically, economically, we can feed people. We can educate people through poverty.” – LAURYN HILL at Tech Hustle
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tastyclips.