J.Lo’s Choreographer Parris Goebel Hidden MVP at the Super Bowl
Parris Goebel is no stranger to being on a global stage. So she dived right in when given the assignment of a lifetime: choreographing for Jennifer Lopez, at the Super Bowl halftime show, Talya Minsberg writes in a sports feature for The New York Times. The Times interviewed the Aucklander a week after the Super Bowl, when she was in New York for Fashion Week, having recently signed with IMG Models.
The job demanded ongoing collaboration with the NFL, the technical team behind the digital stages, the lighting crews, the camera crews and in this case, Shakira’s full teams of dancers, musicians and crew, Minsberg reports.
As soon as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs left the field at the end of the second quarter, hundreds of crew members rushed to the 50-yard line to build the stage in minutes. Screaming fans, there to populate the stage’s fringes, filed out onto the field, joined shortly by dozens of dancers. Seconds after Lopez and Shakira finished their performance, the halftime show crews ran off the field as players returned.
In a show that lasted 13 minutes and was broadcast to hundreds of millions of people around the globe, there was no room for error.
Routines performed by Goebel’s dance crews have repeatedly gone viral. In September, Goebel choreographed Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show in Brooklyn, an event that was translated to a feature on Amazon Prime.
Drafting a routine to entertain 102 million viewers, with extreme technical precision? No problem. The performance drew glowing reviews for its mix of high-intensity moves and affirmations of Latin pride.
“[Lopez] was the first global artist to book me [when I was about 19]. I was still living in New Zealand at the time. She really nurtured me as an artist,” Goebel says.
“When she asked me to do the Super Bowl, it felt full circle to come back and collaborate on this huge moment for her and her career. I really wanted to put together a great show, because if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. There was a lot of emotional depth in this job for me.
“When you watch the show, you watch her, but you also see how amazing the dancers are behind her. It was such a group effort. By the end of the two months we were all family, we were dancing for each other, and dancing for Jen, and when you have that connection, there’s a unity and a message.”
Original article by Talya Minsberg, The New York Times, February 12, 2020.
Photo by Guy Coombes.