The Surreal Experience of Working With Madonna on ‘Dark Ballet’ Video
Billboard.com talks to Mykki Blanco about his collaboration with Madonna on the Dark Ballet video, how they first met, and how the project took shape and ultimately came to life. Here are a few excerpts:
On why Madonna chose him to portray the legendary French heroine Joan of Arc believing that the rapper could properly relate to the saint’s struggle:
She tells me, ‘Based on some of the things that you’ve told me you experienced in this industry and in this society, I feel that some of those things could be a modern day analogy for Joan. Because think about if you had existed as you in her time – you would have been burned at the stake as well.’
On the role of Madonna on the set – she basically served as an uncredited co-director for the project, advising on acting, choreography, cinematography, and even the costuming of the background extras:
She’s so invested in every detail of what she does, and when someone’s been doing this for 30 years, especially a pop icon like her, I guess you would expect that. Intention is very important to her, that’s what I took away.
About the time Madonna took over a choreography rehearsal, saying that she wanted to try something different for a section of the video:
Within an hour and a half, we had new choreography directly from Madonna. Madonna’s a hell of a dancer.
About everything Madonna does having purpose and meaning outside of simple shock value:
We don’t just shoot something or move or flail our arms just for the hell of it. There’s always a deeper, inner intention.
About the many in the industry overlooking Madonna’s creativity in favor of her age:
When people are making these comments that are so ageist, it’s not only tacky, but it’s so disgusting to me. It’s so misogynist, because you’re saying an artistic being shouldn’t continue to play and manifest their imagination however they see fit.
Read the full interview on Billboard.com.