Ballet actively influences not only world art, but also popular culture. How do contemporary performers use ballet aesthetics in their music videos?
Money “Hold Me Forever”
The beginning of this music video takes us to a ballet studio. Watching the succession of close-ups replacing each other, we understand that the lesson begins. Thin fingers tie pointe shoes, ballerinas line up and begin to stretch their feet. Dance shoes are shown in detail, so you can literally see every thread.
Then the camera rises showing the dancers’ faces in the frame: it goes close-up again, as if painting with large strokes. The synchronized movements are reflected in the mirrors, but suddenly the camera freezes on one of the ballerinas. And the viewers find themselves either in one of her memories or dreams: we see a dance room and two dancers - a man and a woman - performing ballet lifts and practicing the steps. The trepidation and confidence of the partners echoes the main idea of the song "Hold Me Forever" or "Never Let Go”.
Robbie Williams "Party Like a Russian"
In this video, the British singer has collected all the most common stereotypes about Russians. When this ironic video was released, Williams commented on the idea as follows:
In the video, you can clearly hear musical quotes from a work by Sergei Prokofiev; ballerinas in snow-white tutus stand up on pointe shoes, the same do the backup dancers in black leather outfits. There are allusions to Russian balls, walks through the Peterhof Gardens with their perfectly trimmed bushes, choral singing, and altogether every shot of this video is filled with the atmosphere of luxury. By the way, before the chorus, the performer says “Spasibo!” (Thank you!) in clear Russian.
Secret Service “Lit de Parade”
The legendary Swedish pop group from the 1980s recently released a new version of their hit that their frontman Tim Norell wrote for Army of Lovers in 1994. Russian ballerina Irina Kreydina starred in the video for the song. Moreover, it was directed by another Russian - Pavel Glazkov.
An old man is watching a ballerina dancing in a sunlit studio. The performance of the group shown on several monitors, as well as the metaphorical vital fluid supplied to the elderly person through tubes, adds to the futurism of the plot. Ballet means eternal youth and beauty, it is difficult to disagree with this idea. As for the melody of the hit, those who have at least the slightest idea of the musical culture of the 1980s will definitely recognize it. Whether it is possible to beat time using the elixir of life - you will find out by watching the video. But it is obvious that the long-familiar song benefited from the orchestral arrangement and ballet dance accompaniment.
Here's what Tim Norell said about this version of his hit:
First time, ballet dancer Sergei Polunin starred in an unofficial video for the song “Take Me to Church” by the Irish musician Hozier, where he danced a bright improvisation. Their creative collaboration continued in the video "Movement", in which the artist not only danced, but also played a role.
The ballet art in this video doesn’t look grand and ceremonial: Polunin dances in some basement, dressed in casual, worn clothes. He is surrounded by doubles: each has his own image and role. He runs and suddenly freezes in dance steps, then picks up speed in spins and jumps. In every frame of this urban video there is movement, search and life.
By the way, the unofficial video “Take Me to Church” featuring Polunin deserves attention of all ballet connoisseurs. Clear-cut lines, emotional performance and the highest professionalism of the dancer give the song a special depth.
Mot & JONY “Lilies”
In this modern romantic ballad, ballerinas in snow-white dresses with airy Chopin skirts seem to personify the flowers the song is about.
The girls dance in a circle, and it’s difficult to take your eyes off their smooth movements: their hands and fingers really look like flower stems stretching upward. The contrast can be clearly felt: two singers in dark suits against the background of delicate creatures in snow-white outfits look especially brutal. The metaphor of femininity and tenderness turned out to be very transparent and understandable.