Critics have described Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” ― the stunning film awarded Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday ― as a cinematic poem, in part because of its masterful score, stretches of silence, and piercing use of color.
A ballet-infused dance inspired by the motion picture, choreographed by Robert Battle of New York’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, distills the movie’s poetic essence into two minutes of ecstatic movement.
Under a blue luminosity reminiscent of the moon’s glare, dancers Jamar Roberts, Christopher Taylor and Jeremy T. Villas move to the film’s rapturous score, created by Academy Award-nominated composer Nicholas Britell.
The three dancers represent the film’s protagonist, Chiron, at various phases of his life ― childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Their bodies communicate Chiron’s struggle to understand and accept himself, trembling back and forth between expression and suppression without saying a word.
In the video, directed by by Anna Rose Holmer of 2016’s “The Fits,” the dazzling blue light illuminates the dancing figures, their every facial expression and undulating muscle telling a unique story. Like the film, Holmer’s short revels in the sensuality and sensitivity of the dancers, qualities which are often overlooked in stereotypical depictions of black men.