PRESS Extracts from The Guardian & The STAGE
Drake’s In My Feelings is the latest viral sensation to get people moving.
From black culture to queer identity to feminism, the global reach of pop choreography makes it the perfect way to change cultural perceptions. When In My Feelings hit No 1 in the US last month, it meant not only that Drake had racked up more weeks at the top of the chart than any male solo artist in 60 years, it also established the latest in a long history of viral dance crazes.
“There has been a massive shift in the way we present and the way we create over the last 10 years,” says choreographer Paul Roberts. He has worked with everyone from One Direction to Paul McCartney, Katy Perry to Prince, and has seen social media platforms transform how dancers can express themselves, no longer reliant on being seen through clients or approved by industry professionals. That freedom, of course, also has downsides. “Sometimes it means ideas are not fully formed when they are put out,” Roberts says. “But overall this new ability to dance on demand is very healthy.”
Carnival Cruise Line: What’s on the Horizon for choreographer Paul Roberts?
As director and choreographer, Paul is charged with creating Carnival’s signature hi-tech, hi-glamour, hi-entertainment value shows, and is currently in development with his fifth production. The decision to go back to sea, he says, was an easy one.
“Carnival offers an amazingly creative and supportive environment to develop your existing skills and learn new ones. You work with exciting talent and a brilliant technical team that finds ingenious ways of making wonderful entertainment”.
A pioneer of onboard entertainment, Carnival’s second-to-none reputation owes much to the quality and vibrancy of its creative team, says creative development director Kerry Stables. “Having strong creative directors on our team to develop our shows is paramount to the success of the final product. Paul Roberts is one of the best and has created four amazing shows for us and is currently working on a fifth that will debut on our newest ship to join the fleet in 2018, the Carnival Horizon”.
For Roberts, evidence of Carnival’s commitment to making “wow factor” entertainment is nowhere more vividly expressed than in its recently opened 44,500 sq ft Carnival Studios complex in Florida. This year, more than 1,100 production team members will rehearse bespoke shows before embarking, quite literally, on the experience of a lifetime.
“There’s everything we need there – every venue of every ship is replicated – to ensure we make the best show possible and give performers what they need to realise their best”.