James Aslop (‘Girls5eva’ choreographer): ‘TV moves at the speed of light’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“TV moves at the speed of light,” reveals “Girls5eva” choreographer James Aslop. For our recent webchat, she adds, “For a two-and-a-half minute performance we would get 45 minutes of rehearsal. That is not enough time! So the actors would come in after shooting and if they had time in between takes. I would be waiting in the rehearsal room. I would hit them one at a time, two at a time, three at a time or rarely I would get all four at a time. It was frantic, but I love that because of the energy. They were so laser focused and really honed in on the choreography. I also tried to make it fun for them. I didn’t want them to be stressed out. It could be their escape for 45 minutes while they were working. It was chaotic and frantic but fun. We had a blast in each rehearsal.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

“Girls5eva” is a new comedy series streaming on Peacock. The series stars Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell and Renee Elise Goldsberry as a one-hit girls group from the 90s (called ‘Girls5eva’). In the first season, the girls reunite to launch a career comeback. It combines sharp dialog with absurd musical numbers and fun 90s dance videos.

The choreographer explains, “In the back of my mind in the first rehearsal was, ‘Sara and Renee and Paula and Busy are all going to be in the same room. What am I doing?’ After the first five minutes they were so kind and sweet and eager to nail the moves, it made it easy. After ten minutes we were all sisters. It took a lot off my shoulders once I got to get in the room with them and we got to play.”

Aslop believes, “Dance is great at helping push the narrative and deliver comedy, because comedy is so physical. Some of our greatest comedians over time were physical comedians, people like John Ritter and Lucille Ball. When you have Paula Pell, who is such a physical comedian, dance really does help. For people who don’t consider themselves dancers and think it’s scary, once they tap into it and just go with reckless abandon it really becomes comical in the best way possible. That’s because it lends a hand to help other people think they can dance. Dance is really integral for pushing along and delivering comedy.”

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