If there are a few things I am ritually obsessed with in dance – both on stage and when interfaced with film – they are the use of slow motion, pieces of fabric that make interesting shapes, and bodies coming out of black. In fact I recently completed directing and choreographing a series of shorts myself that employed all these elements (plus some additional ones) and I still feel like there is so much more to mine there. So when I saw Jessica Tonder’s video for My Body is My Home, with elegant movement choreographed by the seemingly unstoppable Ryan Heffington, I was immediately drawn in.
The song lulls the listener like a hip and haunting gospel hymn, and Tonder’s voice is rich and assured. With super slow mo augmented by long diaphanous fabric that morphs into shapes as the dancer leaps — perhaps propelled by a trampoline into the air — she creates beautiful lines with both the fabric and her body. The coolest shots though are when the dancer lends her arms to the singer’s body, either gesturing as if they belong to it, or dominating and pushing her down. As a music video, it is very specifically visualized and shot in rich blacks and whites, which I love, and although it gets a bit long toward the end, My Body is My Home is beautifully directed by Maximilla Lukacs. Featuring Jasmine Albuquerque (who I believe is the dancer), visual effects by Galen Pherson, and lush camera work by David McFarland, its entirely worth the watch.