And Finally Artist News

Left Shark speaks

By | Published on Thursday 1 February 2018

Katy Perry / Left Shark

With Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime show fast approaching, it’s time to take a look back at past disasters during American football’s big bash. Yeah, you’d think I was talking about the last time Timberlake performed at the Super Bowl. But no, I’m talking about that time they let Katy Perry do it and she failed to control her shark.

Three years ago, Perry performed on stage with two dancers dressed as sharks. One of them, dubbed Left Shark, seemed to go rogue. Many went so far as to suggest he didn’t know his dance moves at all. Not so, says the dancer behind the phenomenon.

Despite being previously identified as the man in the costume, Bryan Gaw avoided requests to speak publicly at the time about his defining moment in entertainment. Three years later, and now no longer a professional dancer, he’s ready to talk. It’s probably the first time he’s been asked about it in a while too.

Speaking to NPR, he denied that he failed to remember what he was supposed to be doing back during that Perry set, saying: “[While] there’s a set choreography, there’s also what’s called freestyle choreography, or, like, you get to move around or play your character as a dancer … I’m in a seven-foot blue shark costume. There’s no cool in that. So what’s the other option? Well, I’m gonna play a different character”.

In developing this new shark character, Gaw says he rehearsed his moves thinking of Left Shark as an underdog just trying his best. However, what seemed slightly silly in a small rehearsal studio, was then magnified once placed on a brightly coloured stage in the middle of an American football field. Left Shark became King Underdog.

Concerned that his antics were drawing attention away from Perry and her big moment, he says he chose not to speak publicly about what had happened at the time. But that doesn’t mean he was shying away from the moment, which – he adds – has only been a positive thing for him. “I don’t get any negative feedback from it”, he says. “If anything, people are, like, ‘Whoa, that’s so cool!'”

Despite Gaw’s three year silence, Left Shark did pretty much draw all the attention away from Perry’s show at the time. I mean, what else do you remember about that performance? Nothing. Actually, I remember Perry’s dress and the desert island stage set. But only because I have seen them in pictures of Left Shark.

Realising that something bigger than her was growing after the Super Bowl show, Perry attempted to claim ownership of Left Shark, which led to one of the finest exchanges of pedantic legal letters ever recorded.