RNZB dancer's tribute to Lady Gaga becomes YouTube hit

Friday 7 May 2010, 10:00AM
By Royal New Zealand Ballet

SHE’S one of the biggest stars in the world and Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Jaered Glavin’s choreographic tribute to Lady Gaga is fast becoming a star in its own right.

Glavin recently took part in the RNZB’s annual in-house choreographic workshop. The workshop offers dancers the chance to try being on the ‘otherside’, to see what it takes to create a dance piece. They are given 12 hours over a two week period to choreograph something with their peers. It is very informal, but often a way to identify emerging choreographic talent.

Videoed by a fellow dancer and posted on youtube, Glavin’s work has become a worldwide hit, viewed more than 50,000 times in just 10 days - making it New Zealand’s top-rated youtube clip this month.

A huge Lady Gaga fan, Glavin chose the Lady Gaga track ‘Bad Romance’ (Starsmith Remix) and selected ‘The Gagaettes’ - fellow RNZB dancers Katie Hurst-Saxton, Katherine Grange, Clytie Campbell, Lucy Balfour, Antonia Hewitt and Maree White - to help him make his dream come to fruition. Decked out in blonde wigs and skimpy outfits made of gaffer tape, the dancers embraced the chance to pull out classical dance moves to the unlikely score.

“I wanted all the steps to be ugly and unconventional but using conventional classical steps and distorting them because that is what gaga is about - being outrageous and weird yet making it cool to be that way,” says English-born Glavin, who joined the RNZB in 2008.

The clip has made it onto Lady Gaga’s official website forum and Glavin admits he has tweeted the link to celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton and Lady Gaga herself in the hope she might see it.

“I adore Lady Gaga. I draw so much inspiration from her, it would be amazing to know she’s seen the video!,” he says.

While he is yet to have any official word from the pop princess herself, Lady Gaga may also be interested in Glavin’s next venture - he is to dance in his first soloist role as Escamillo in RNZB’s Meridian Season of Carmen. “Escamillo is a rock star dressed in leather with white blonde hair and his solo is played on the electric guitar so it is literally going to rock”, Glavin says.

Carmen opens in Wellington on June 5 and tours to Invercargill, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Napier and Auckland until July.

Glavin’s Lady Gaga youtube clip can be found at