Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-22
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Howard Brown Health Center expands exam rooms Howard Brown Health Center expands exam rooms
Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC), 4025 N. Sheridan Rd., hosted a ribbon-cutting ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Legendary choreographer Vincent Paterson's 'Smooth' moves
NUNN ON ONE: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2014-04-29

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


When people see great work over the years, sometimes it is about the man behind the scenes. Such is the case with Vincent Paterson. A choreographer to the stars, this man has left his mark in the entertainment world without an ounce of ego.

Some of the world's most famous moves—from Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" video to Madonna's grabbing her crotch in "Express Yourself"—will be burned into the memory of many viewers over the years. For millions of fans, the Blonde Ambition tour was his creation from top to the bedroom, where Ms. Ciccone grinded on a platform bed.

Captured in a documentary titled The Man Behind the Throne, Chicagoans have an opportunity to witness a backstage pass to iconic artists with a candid movie at Chicago International Movies & Music Festival this week.

We called the puppeteer in L.A. one day to hear about his story Nunn on One.

Windy City Times: Hi, Vincent. You are calling from L.A. and that was your house in the movie?

Vincent Paterson: Yeah. I live in the Hollywood Hills, under the "D" of the sign. That is one of the landmarks they recognize.

WCT: What inspired this documentary for you?

Vincent Paterson: It didn't inspire me. I didn't want the documentary made. Eventually, I said yes. I had done an interview with Kerstie Grunditz, the director, in the early 2000s, speaking to students putting dance into movies. A couple of years later she contacted me about making a documentary. Every year I said, "No, thank you." Finally I might be retiring in a few years so I did it with her.

I asked her first to meet her in Los Angeles because of the level of celebrities I have worked with. Did they want to know the color of Michael Jackson's underwear? [Laughs]

She came over from Sweden and created what she thought the documentary would be about. I thought she was a fantastic lady and very smart. She asked smart questions and I gave her access to everything I had so that is how it came about.

WCT: You had some very personal things on the documentary. That must have been difficult.

Vincent Paterson: Honestly, Jerry, I am a very open human being. I find there are very few things that I won't talk about in my life. I feel artists can feel if other people go through the same things then they don't feel so alone. I don't feel there was any subject that we broached that I refused to talk about. Wherever she wanted to go I went along with her.

WCT: How did your partner, Carl, like being a part of it?

Vincent Paterson: Carl didn't like it. Carl is not really in my life and we was on the edge of my life when we made the documentary. He was not a happy participant. It was important that he has there because we had been together for many years at that point. He was not active in any of the things I did but many of those experiences were his as well.

I'm happily married now. I got married in January.

WCT: You can get married out there in California, finally.

Vincent Paterson: You can get married and have your best friend marry you if you want and that is what happened. That was terrific.

WCT: What do you think of Madonna and her tours now?

Vincent Paterson: Look: Madonna is an amazing artist. She's incredible. Personally, I thought she was a vanguard for women, opening up doors for them all the time, when she got into her fifties I thought she would understand that women are valuable as mature women. Sometimes she plays to a younger audience only. That is a selfish desire. I wish she would be a little mature in the work that she does. I love the fact that she directed the film and she did a gorgeous job directing it a couple of years ago. The tours are spectacular and she has always been at the forefront of that.

I prefer the work from before, personally.

WCT: How was it seeing the old footage of Michael Jackson?

Vincent Paterson: Michael Jackson is still very active in my life. My work with Michael Jackson back then set the stage for my life now. I mentioned that in the documentary and it is still true. So many people call my agents because of a Michael Jackson project they have seen. Michael seems to still constantly be around me.

He was truly the greatest artist I have had the opportunity to work with. He was just so kind. It was always a pleasure. The work was filled with laughter and it was hard work simultaneously. He's one of the few people I have ever met in this entire business who never had a bad word to say about anyone. He approached everything without an ego. For someone that huge it was mind boggling. He was a sweet man. He worked hard and was the consummate gentleman. You can't believe how kind the guy was.

I know this sounds bizarre but the first few years I worked with him this was the closest person I know who was a Jesus character because he always just so kind and loving to everybody. He never said an unkind word to anyone that worked for him. He was always so gracious. He was extremely shy but grateful. He was an important artist and a great man.

WCT: So nice to hear. This is different than what you sometimes hear in the news and media.

Vincent Paterson: The sad thing about the media in United States is they lift them but then tear them apart. It seems to be the nature of the beast.

WCT: I saw your Elvis Cirque show in Vegas.

Vincent Paterson: I would like to say "great" but what Cirque du Soleil does is they don't pay too much attention to what you do when they create it. You put it in Vegas and everyone descends upon you and rips the thing apart. They put things in there that have nothing to do with the three years that you have invested. I don't think they cared that much for Elvis Presley.

For me, Elvis Presley is an American hero but for them I think he was a potential opportunity to sell more tickets. They didn't handle it well or understand Elvis Presley I feel.

Once we got to Vegas they started putting in all of these acrobatics acts that had nothing to do with Elvis Presley or the story being told it didn't make any sense to me. You learn from every experience and I certainly learned a lot from that experience. It was the first time I worked with acrobats and that was an incredible education.

WCT: Tell me about working with Bjork and the film Dancer in the Dark.

Vincent Paterson: [Laughs] That was crazy! I had a phenomenal experience with Bjork and Lars Van Trier. They didn't wind up liking each other very much. It was strange because I was in the middle there. They had a very hard time with each other.

Bjork was fantastic. We had so much fun and she was ready for anything. She would always show up in these crazy bizarre outfits. I would laugh just to see what she was going to wear the next day in a rehearsal. She was just adorable. We had a fantastic time. She was never hesitant about any place I asked her to go. When it came to being an actor with her I had so much fun. Lars asked me to be an actor and I had done it many years before so I had a great time. She was a treat.

It was very difficult for her to make that movie because that character was so far away from who she is. When she did that one scene where she had to slap her son across the face because he wasn't at school it took three days. We had to keep coming back to shoot it because she couldn't get to that point. She couldn't make herself hit that little boy. Not being an experienced actor she couldn't shake that character by the end of the day. It was so far away from who she was. It was difficult. She is a very sweet, loving person.

The part that was her was the person me and Lars developed to get into these musical scenes. It is a rhythm she hears that transports her into the fantasy taking her away from the real life situations.

She always carried a little tape recorder with her and we would walk around record things. She was a sound fanatic.

WCT: You just made my day talking about her. What are you working on now?

Vincent Paterson: I am working on a couple of things. I am creating a piece for a Montreal lyricist named Luc Plamondon. I am the first American to do Evita in Vienna next year. They want me to do my own take on it.

I am writing an autobiography, which is really fun. I am also writing dance music with my husband. I like to keep learning and trying new things. As long as that happens I will keep on working. When things get boring I will stop. Right now, life is good!

WCT: I wish you were coming in town for the festival.

Vincent Paterson: I do, too, because it is on my birthday. I have only been to Chicago once—many years ago. When I have a chance for a vacation I go to a beach in Mexico.

WCT: I can't compete with that in Chicago!

Dance in the Dark on May 4 at 3 p.m. at the Society for Arts; see cimmfest.com .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Macy Gray shows us 'The Way' 2014-10-22
EXHIBITS 'David Bowie Is' wows patrons at the MCA 2014-10-22
Laramie Project; Boy George; Library exhibit on marriage 2014-10-22
Upcoming: Honors and music 2014-10-22
Upcoming events in film, music, poetry 2014-10-22
BENT NIGHTS Xina Xurner;'Shame That Tune'; Asgeir 2014-10-21
Chorus names artistic director; Harris, Osborne at Staples event 2014-10-21
Jennifer Knapp: Lesbian releases album, book with sense of self 2014-10-21
'Unplugged' performance to tackle rape, suicide 2014-10-20
Trans musician to appear at documentary screening 2014-10-15
Upcoming shows: Laramie Project; Brickman; McComas, Kuper, Kennedy 2014-10-15
Jennifer Hudson and HRC; Transparent; Annie Lennox on Beyonce 2014-10-14
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Sinead O'Connor takes us to 'Church' 2014-10-14
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present Lipstick & Lyrics 2014-10-13
Alan Cumming in Conversation at Music Box Theatre Oct. 13 2014-10-08
Steel Panther, Judas Priest and a fire festival 2014-10-08
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Mary Lambert tells her 'Secrets' 2014-10-08
News notes: Local entertainment, events 2014-10-08
Denmark's anniversary; Judas Priest's gay situation 2014-10-07
Beatles celebration at Governors State U 2014-10-06
Ringing the Andy Bell 2014-10-01
DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: PRINCE, YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN 2014-10-01
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Happy anniversary: Lyric's Anthony Freud marks milestones 2014-10-01
MUSICAL REVIEW A Kurt Weill Cabaret 2014-10-01
Forward-toward male volunteer Lenny Earl: fests, transition 2014-10-01
Clay Aiken's hacking comment; Tina Turner museum; Joe Manganiello 2014-09-30
World news: Gay Times' icons; Russia court upholds LGBT ban 2014-09-30
Hercules and Love Affair, the C-word and a 'Broken Heart' 2014-09-30
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Paloma Faith's 'Perfect' plan 2014-09-30
'Flame' on!: Erasure's Andy Bell on new CD, Joan Rivers 2014-09-24
Upcoming: Fireside Chat; Mapplethorpe; Etta James tribute; Mamet's Cryptogram 2014-09-24
Bjork film screening; Chely Wright campaigns on Kickstarter 2014-09-24
Lily Allen talks Rihanna and gay best friends 2014-09-23
BENT NIGHTS More on Riot Fest; Fishbone 2014-09-23
'Drag Race' alum Delano does Chicago unplugged exclusive 2014-09-23
'Magic Mike XXL' news; Stevie Nicks; Ricky's new single 2014-09-23
Melissa Etheridge This Is M.E. at Cadillac Palace Theatre Nov. 15 2014-09-23
New American Folk Theatre presents musical by two Chicagoans 2014-09-23
The show must go on: A season of musicals and operas is coming 2014-09-17
Gay music legend dies; O'Donnell on Boomer List; Staples honored 2014-09-17





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Aon, KPMG hold pro-LGBT event
 
ELECTIONS 2014 Printable Election Guide Charts
 
Gay in the Life: Justin Romme
 
Sophia Bush on 'Chicago P.D.' and being an LGBT ally
 
BENT NIGHTS Xina Xurner;'Shame That Tune'; Asgeir
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.