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Bruno Mars Choreographer & Dancer Phil Tayag Talks Bringing the Funk to Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show

How did you link up with Bruno?

Bruno and I
had a mutual friend. I did not meet Bruno at the time, but i knew of him
in 2008. I was introduced to him and his music [through] footage of
him. Producers showed me his stuff and I was like, “Oh wow, he’s great.”
Fast-forward [to 2015], I’m working with Bruno Mars, we do the “Uptown
Funk” video which was a mega-smash. He actually asked me if I wanted to
do the Super Bowl with him, Coldplay and Beyonce in the Bay Area, so
it’s like the stars really aligned for this, and I couldn’t be any more
grateful.

Doing the choreography for the “Uptown Funk” video, were you aware how much of a hit it was going to be even before it blew up?

Yes.
When I heard the song. And reflecting on it, I was telling [Bruno],
like, this song is going to be at every wedding from here on out. It’s a
classic – it’s not too trendy, it’s feel-good, it’s just a funky song.
And sure enough, after he fired it off, [it became a] mega-smash. He
fired off the video, and it gets over a billion views. It’s unreal.

Months leading up to the Super Bowl, there were rumors that
Bruno was going to perform but nothing was really confirmed until a week
before. How long ago did you know that you were going to be involved in
this process, and how hard was it to keep the whole operation a secret?

We’d been
at it for a good month, so we were just kind of chipping away at this
thing and fusing everything together. The process has been unreal. It’s
been a beautiful process, always creating with Bruno, and that guy –
he’s a dancer too, and I will not take all of the credit for
choreography. We know this guy writes, produces his music, plays live
instruments, sings, performs, and now he’s embracing the dance in him.
Bruno is the complete package. He has the eye when it comes to what he
wants to see, what he wants to do and how he wants to move. We just
really vibed out, and I think that’s what makes it great about our
dynamic is it’s really organic. We just come together on a really homie
level and just create. It doesn’t feel like work and it should never
feel like work because we’re artists.

Were you able to interact with Coldplay or Beyonce during the rehearsal process?

You
know what? Yes, and it was really beautiful. Of course we’re always
going to, first and foremost, be professional, but I’m genuinely a fan.
I’ve been a fan of Beyonce since [Destiny’s Child] “No, No, No, Part 1” dropped. I was probably 15 or 16 years old at the time. People grew up with Michael Jackson or Elvis
– I really grew up with Beyonce so there was a lot of anticipation
kind of around that. But of course when we all hooked up and Bruno
introduced me to Beyonce and to Chris [Martin], it was just very cool.
Everyone was just super respectful and humble. At the end of the
day, they’re artists just like myself, just like Bruno. Everyone [could]
rightfully have this confidence or maybe even be cocky – they’re
powerhouse artists but they didn’t come off that way and didn’t have
that sense of entitlement.

Were there any memorable moments during the creation of the halftime show?

There
was this time where we got to rehearse in the dance studio and there
was just like a lot of taunting going back and forth because you know
we’re supposed to be kind of have this little stand-off where we kind of
square up – Beyonce’s camp and Bruno’s camp and you got Chris and
Coldplay in the middle. Before we actually collided, it was just really
separate and everyone was just trying to show who they were and what
they were about, but when we got to rehearse in the dance studio, it
just got really fun. Everyone really came together and it really felt
like a tight-knit family that Coldplay called all of us “the royal
family.”

Is there a difference in terms of pressure between choreographing for the Jabbawockeez versus a Bruno Mars?

Well,
I think the only pressure involved is that with Jabbawockeez, you’re
wearing a mask so it’s more so about the body language where obviously
with Bruno, you have to dance, sing and remember lyrics so there’s a
little bit of a difference but it isn’t too crazy, at least for me.


Is there anyone on your wish list that you have yet to work with?

It would
be nice to do something like this again for sure. Coldplay is
amazing. Bruno and Beyonce are really at the top of the list as far as
who you would want to work with on a dance performance level so I’m kind
of fine with where I’m at. I was even just okay with a handshake from
Beyonce and just saying [to her], “Hey, you’re amazing,” but I can’t
even think of anything past this. It’s just unreal already. I’m good
where I’m at.

​​What’s the biggest takeaway from the experience?

Bruno,
Beyonce, Chris Martin, all of these people were dreaming of doing what
they’re doing now and same thing with myself. We weren’t just born into
this. You actually have to have a vision and work to make it happen so
bottom line, I just want people to know that if they stick with what
they love and they just go for it [with] no expectations, dreams really
do come true.

Source: Billboard

Source: Bruno News

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Bruno Mars Choreographer & Dancer Phil Tayag Talks Bringing the Funk to Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show

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