The adorably quirky “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is in the midst of its second season on The CW—and it just keeps getting funnier (and dancier!). The sitcom has become known for its over-the-top musical breaks featuring original choreo, often spoofing famous songs or music videos. Choreographer Kathryn Burns is the lady in charge of those award-winning moves, and she recently won an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography for her work. Dance Spirit caught up with Burns to get the scoop on how she makes dances for one of TV’s hottest comedies.
(photo by Robyn Von Swank, courtesy Anderson Group PR)
Dance Spirit: What first drew you to “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”?
Kathryn Burns: Rachel Bloom [one of the show’s creators and its star] and I had collaborated together for “Funny Or Die,” shows at Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC and other L.A. comedy shows, so I was already a fan of her comedic voice. Plus, a comedy musical on TV? I mean, it’s a dream job!
DS: How has working on Season 2 been different than the first season?
KB: We’re in our groove this season. We learned plenty of lessons and worked through the kinks of shooting two music videos per episode.
DS: Are there any challenges that come with choreographing for a sitcom?
KB: The biggest challenge is that dance isn’t the star. The movement always has a supporting role, so by default a lot of the choreography gets toned down or cut. My goal is to sneak in as many magical moments as possible.
DS: What’s the style of movement like this season?
KB: Classic Hollywood–ography, girl-group–ography, ping-pong–ography, Disney-ography, butt-ography and more!
DS: Is there anything you’ve learned this season that you wish you knew last season?
KB: Simplicity is king. Sometimes the best choreography is movement that’s seemingly simple. Its power comes from staying true to the character versus complicated
DS: What’s your favorite thing about working on the show?
KB: I love the wide variety of genres I get to create—from bad, silly dancing to giant showgirl moments and everything in between.