Dancing… to Meatloaf music? It sounds like a challenge but choreographer Xena Gusthart used her ‘eclectic’ background to make ‘Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical,’ stage-ready!
As Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical enters its final few weeks of performances in NYC, Meatloaf and theater fans race to the city to see the hit show! When it came to adding Broadway-grade choreography to Meatloaf hits like “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights,” Xena Gusthart was a tad perplexed, but up for the challenge. “As a choreographer I always take my impulses from the music — for me there’s no movement without the music, and what Jim Steinman‘s lyrics have done — he tells stories in his music. Meatloaf was famous for telling these dramatic and epic stories through his lyrics and through his music, which just offered so much inspiration,” she explained in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife.com. “In a sort of round about way, it was quite an easy process in the sense of, we’ve got a story to tell from what the director wants, and what the music’s telling us to do.”
Xena revealed that her “varied” background helped when it came to coming up with moves for Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical. “I’ve had quite an eclectic training over the years and I like to amalgamate all those things together. My first love is actually hip hop and all the styles that come under that umbrella, like locking, popping, crumping and whacking,” she described. “I like to put all of those things and mish-mash that vibe against the rock music that we’re choreographing.” It’s a style Xena calls a “mixture between contemporary and hip hop styles,” with “accents of rhythms and the storytelling.”
The British choreographer added that her favorite number to work on was “Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)” due to the major plot points that happen all at once. “There’s a proposal, a marriage, we find out that someone’s alive, there’s all these different things happening and it’s just a lot” Xena exclaimed. “That was really fun to choreograph because I collaborated directly with the director to get the story that he wanted across, then for me to be able influence that with the choreography.”
Be sure to see Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical during its limited NYC run!