Mariah Carey’s Former Choreographer Shares The Reason Behind Her Cringeworthy Performances

As of late, music and pop culture icon Mariah Carey has gotten plenty of free passes from her fans. The singer, who is currently enjoying her “All The Hits” show with Lionel Richie, has caught slack for her less than smooth performances. After moments from her New Year’s Eve and Vegas concerts went viral for the wrong reasons, many have wondered why the singer’s dance moves are declining by the minute. It now looks like her former choreographer and creative director holds the answers to fans’ questions.

Speaking with Complex Tuesday (Aug. 8), Anthony Burrell explained the nature of the singer’s circle. “It felt like they were so new at their jobs, and had no direction,” he said. Burrell, who is an Alvin Ailey alum, worked with Carey for four years before his departure in January. To some, it seemed like Burrell was blamed for Carey’s now-infamous NYE performance that featured plenty of awkward moments.

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Prior to working with the “Beautiful” singer, Burrell worked with Brandy, Kelly Rowland and Beyonce during her “Beyonce Experience” tour.

He’s since reunited with Bey with a gig as a choreographer and dancer for her management team, Parkwood Entertainment. Burrell points out the lack of professionalism that surrounds Carey’s camp and how it’s effected her stage presence.

“When you’re green, you’re playing things by trial and error, and there were a lot of errors,” he added. “I was very vocal about things that weren’t right. When you try to take a shortcut and you don’t know the clues, you’re bound to get f**ked up or screwed, because you don’t have the experience of running a tour or a billion-dollar empire. Some of the dancers her team hired are great dancers, but they’re not choreographers or creative directors.”

Burrell doesn’t have bad blood towards the singer, but her recent blunders aren’t a surprise to him. “It’s just typical Mariah,” Burrell said. “Mariah is clear: when she doesn’t wanna do something, she doesn’t do it. She’s performing with lackluster and no f**ks given, and it’s taking away her star.”​

He added that this isn’t the first time her performance skills were subpar, but thinks there was once a balance between her impeccable vocal range and dancing. “Working with an artist like Mariah, who’s not a mover first, it’s always a challenge to get them to think physically and not just vocally,” he said. “You always have to keep in mind that they’re a singer first. The priority is not teaching them 100 counts of 8, or endless routines. I wanted to give Mariah a modern push to revamp her, give her a fresher, more modern feel, make her more aware of her body and her lines, and not look like her feet hurt when she’s walking.”

Check out the rest of the interview, here.

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