The choreographer behind Uniqlo's ad on Taylor Swift and dancing in London

Lukas McFarlane choreographed the dancers performing throughout London in Uniqlo's campaign to relaunch its flagship Oxford Street store.

McFarlane: 'I always enjoyed my own creations far better than rehearsing those of others'
McFarlane: 'I always enjoyed my own creations far better than rehearsing those of others'

What was your brief and vision? The whole thing was to be edgy and very London. I knew I could bring a unique fusion of styles and dancers that would make it more "now" and commercial. I wanted choreography that was stunningly beautiful and would captivate the audience from the opening scene. I also wanted eight individual styles of movement that would contrast each other and the locations. 

What inspired your choreography for the ad? My main inspiration was the dancers. They are each so quirky and genuine in their ways of moving. They embodied the feel for the ad and each had a raw undertone that I harnessed in creating their solos.

The locations also had a massive impact. Locations were scouted all over London, including derelict buildings, rooftops by train tracks, graffitied walls and river pathways. The harnessed dancers on the wall, the truck and the goalpost pushed me to create in different ways and think outside of my natural movement. I even got up there myself a few times! 

What was your biggest challenge? The time restraints – I created eight two-and-a-half-minute solos. They had to be completely different but danced to the same piece of music. I only had an hour to rehearse with each dancer. After that, we had one day to try the solos and stunts on the apparatus with wardrobe, and then we were shooting. 

How did you get into dance? I was six when I went to a Shania Twain concert and then begged my parents for tap shoes. From early on, I was creating little dances for my parents and anyone who would watch. I always enjoyed my own creations far better than rehearsing those of others. London has nurtured my creativity and gives me so much inspiration. That’s part of why this ad appealed to me. 

How has your life changed since winning Got To Dance in 2013? I wouldn’t be where I am today without Got To Dance. I’m lucky to have had that show when I was beginning my career because it changed my life. I’m so grateful to every person who picked up the phone or voted online. 

What was it like dancing in a Taylor Swift show? Dancing with Taylor was lovely. It was early on in my career and my first big job as a dancer, so it was a big moment for me. She is a great artist to work for and I would do it again in a heartbeat.