This week, we’re mixing it up a little and including a live performance, as well as hot takes on new videos from Liam Payne, Davido and Bastille.
Camila Cabello — Medley of “I Have Questions” and “Crying In The Club” (Live from Billboard Music Awards)
Last week the Fifth Harmony defector Camila Cabello dropped her video for the lead single “Crying In The Club,” and two days later she performed it at the Billboard Music Awards as part of a medley with another track “I Have Questions.” After the latter’s slow intro, there’s an explosion of tumbling and dance from an all-male backup squad. The dancers incorporate conga drums into the tribal-themed act. Camila attempts nothing approaching a Britney degree of difficulty, but she’s got legit dance chops. The routine includes many arm thrusts, but there are also hip-hop moves. A real highlight comes at 3:24 with a sequence that’s a mashup of the Funky Chicken and a slowmo twerk, resulting in a booty pop so juicy that even Vivica Fox would take notice. The dance break at the end is nice, too, with more assisting from Camila. It features what could be a Tribal Dab — if that’s a thing.
Liam Payne – “Strip That Down” ft. Guavo
The first video from One Direction’s latest solo spinoff begins silently, with the camera slowly zooming on an Amazonian beauty performing a stretch of sun salutation proportions. Cut to Liam serving poor man’s JT moves, cross cut with a much more dance battle style from a female soloist. She gets four backup dancers, and after we cut away and back, there are only three. It’s simple, but effective. You can’t help but ask yourself: Hey, where’d that dancer go? The opening beauty returns, and through her languid movements calls back to Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza‘s chair poses. The variation in setups and formation size continues, but the dancing is consistent throughout: high-intensity and aerobic. It’s well executed, but there’s a bit of disconnect, because the beat can’t really keep up with the dancers.
Davido — “Fall”
A third of the way into the American-born, Nigerian singer’s new video — his follow up to the international smash “IF” — Davido walks by a dance studio and is instantly mesmerized by a ballerina’s détournés, déboulés and other graceful moves in front of a barre. She looks up, and it’s love at first sight, communicated by a fantasy sequence where they command attention in a dance circle at a costume ball. She cha-chas beautifully, and he kind of does…not much. She’s a joy to watch, and we get to see her gifted moves crosscut between the ball and a private setting with Davido. Watch out for the surprise ending fairytale callback!
Bastille — “Glory”
The British indie pop band’s new video uses novel storytelling devices to great effect. A couple lays on top of car, watching planes take off overhead as they recall an adventure packed road trip. Subtitles reveal their differing recollections, and the scenes change to reflect this. Many of their strongest memories revolve around dance.The woman does a go-go routine atop a dive bar pool table (0:38) and remembers two bikers asking her to dance (2:00), while the man remembers them as picking a fight. There’s a Dance Moms PTSD alert at 2:34, when the couple passes by a dance studio and crashes the class. The most curious bits are when she twice notices people doing non-contextual solo routines outside the same gas station. A man does fouettés and expressive torso movements, and later a woman does a dramatic, Fossesque arm movement with her cowboy hat. We would’ve loved these sequences to be longer, but their abruptness and brevity without explanation makes them very absorbing.