Harry Styles and his dancers had to perform their “As It Was” routine in reverse at Sunday’s Grammys when the stage rotated in the wrong direction, the singer’s dancers and choreographer have revealed on social media. Fronted by Styles in a silver tinsel onesie and staged on a giant turntable, the elaborate routine had been rehearsed to a tee for ten days, choreographer Dexter Da Rocha said on TikTok (per Variety). But on the night, when the stage spun the wrong way, “there was nothing we could do to stop it,” dancer Brandon Mathis added in an Instagram Story. “Freaking all of us out on live television.”
Dancers took to social media to dampen criticism of the “lethargic” performance, Billboard notes. “To switch all those patterns around on the spot, having not even walked in that direction, it sounds easy,” Da Rocha said in the TikTok. “Since it’s circular, it pulls you in different directions and is such a special type of balance. We got accustomed to one way, and it was the opposite way. Luckily we worked together and did our best and got to one cool formation in time for the overhead shot, but had to change the rest.”
Styles got his second surprise of the night shortly after, winning Album of the Year for Harry’s House. Watch him and the dancers narrowly swerve disaster below, and follow along with all of Pitchfork’s coverage of the 2023 Grammy Awards.