Cat Deeley once said after Travis Wall’s ‘Fix You’ performance on So You Think You Can Dance that ‘when the right dancer comes together with the right choreographer and dances to the right song with the right lyrics- it’s magical’ and I strongly believe this with choreographic art pieces of today.
I don’t know whether to commend music artists such as Sia or Ed Sheeran on their bravery, or to send direct thanks and appreciation to their choreographers; NappyTabs duo Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo and Ryan Heffington. Somehow, just somehow by taking the well known artists faces out of the equation they have created art inside a music video, through dance.
Thank you to the production teams behind Ed Sheerans’ ‘Don’t’ for making Bone Breaking acceptable and illustrated so cleverly that the movement itself seems mesmerising rather than grotesque. For months at University whilst researching for my dissertation topic, I tried to find answers as to why dance genres such as Krump or Bone Breaking had such an intense reaction from household audiences as the movements didn’t initially entertain and why it was so shocking for these dance styles to appear before the water shed, on reality television shows and in theatres. Whereas now, two years later, something in the air (which I cannot place my finger on) has shifted. Reactions have changed and society has somehow surprisingly learnt to accept abnormal movement, contortion and bones moving in the way they shouldn’t do on a normal day to day basis. It seems as though, due to the format of how audiences are visualising the movement, generated from literally breaking bones portrayed in scenes with luxury swimming pools rather than the predictable thug like dance battle scene. Bone Breaking begins to have an artistic depiction in comparison to its normal unsettling, eerie, ugly and freakish connotation which might explain why audiences are seeing more and more of this unusual dance form.
Sia’s production team on the other hand have finally revisited and brought back choreographic movement close to DV8’s Physical Theatre. Similar to when Beyoncé took on this concept during her ‘Countdown’ music video which allegedly plagiarises and imitates the movement behind Anne Teresea De Keersmaker’s work. ‘Chandelier’ finds audiences focus completely and utterly on ‘Dance Mom’s’ star, Maddie Ziegler and her performance is mesmerising.
Maddie’s age, professionalism, movement and character combined with the fact she is twelve years of age and dances like a true professional is outstanding and again unusual to regular audiences to not see your average beautiful twenty something backing dancer being briefly featured behind close ups of the artists face. Throughout Maddie’s performance we are drawn in, we move with her and we cannot take our eyes off her as the creative movement seems shocking for a young girl yet we appreciate choreography and question the reasons behind the creativity.
Although ‘Chandelier’ to many may seem like it is just another music video…I highly disagree, it is in fact ART. So after looking into numerous articles and review’s behind the 2014 MTV’s Video Music Awards Best Choreography, I discovered Ryan Heffington’s personal tutorial behind the choreography which explains the choices behind the movement in a completely different way to how I personally imagined the choreographic development.
Heffington’s tutorial, instantly shipped my mind straight back to experimenting in an improvisation class at University, where our Contemporary teachers gave indications to which part of the body to move from or directed tasks to create movement and explore the discovered connection.
By simply removing the well known face of the music artists both NappyTabs and Heffington have become genius’ and choreographically created something very special and I salute them for this.
Emmy Award Winning, founders of Nappytabs have recently expanded their simplistic range by adding Ed Sheeran back into his latest video for ‘Thinking Out Loud’ focusing on the dance genre of Ballroom. The blissful choreographic piece dedicates all movement to the love story behind the music. We see no close up shots of Ed directly singing for the camera and the audiences are therefore focused and directed to concentrate on the intimate partnership and purely on the dancing.
Not a lot of men within the mainstream entertainment industry would be ballsy enough to take on the commitment given behind the creation of this video, especially when Ed’s usual partner consists of a wooden guitar. It takes a lot for a well in demand singer to learn the craft behind Ballroom as the audience understands a singers hefty schedule of interviews, touring, recording etc. and to not use a body double either…legendary.
I wonder if in the run up to 2015 more music artists will grasp this incredible concept and pull themselves out of the limelight? I also question if we will see a rise in young, up and coming, incredible dancers like Maddie Ziegler taking centre stage which is exactly where they deserve to be.
I sincerely hope these new outstanding idea’s behind a music video isn’t done on the basis to gain likes and views on YouTube. Although I do wonder how these dedicated dance videos can be transported onto live shows and tours.
Check these videos out and explore your thoughts for yourselves:
THINKING OUT LOUD- http://youtu.be/lp-EO5I60KA