“Punk” choreographer and director Holly Blakey has collaborated with Moss Kena on a new film for Moss’ track Square One.
The highly stylised film depicts the power struggles implicit within any relationship by way of a group of glamorously dressed women — labelled by Holly as “gods” — eating takeaway food at a dinner table, spliced with footage of dancers wrestling observed keenly by a cheering crowd.
“I actually didn’t read the brief,” Holly tells It’s Nice That. “I just can’t, as soon as I do that I don’t have any ideas, so I just played the track over and over and came up with this. Once the idea is in place I can read through the brief and make tweaks where I need to… And hope I’m not too far off!”
Concentrate on Square One and you’ll spot the dancers that illustrated our feature on Holly’s work and practise this time last year. Holly regularly works with the same dancers as collaborators. “The dancers are people I work with all the time and who are like my family,” she explains. “We all loved the song and they were into the idea so we came together and made the movement material.”
Other members of the cast are newcomers. “Brianna Box, the star of the show, was a crush I started chatting to about dance on Instagram!” Holly says. “We then met at a screening of Clayton Vomero’s and I realised super quickly she was our missing link. The Gods, as I’ve come to call them, are the women at the table. They’re a mix of beautiful, inspiring creatives in London who I managed to persuade to work with me. Ilona with long hair in the black dress is a director signed to the same production company as me, and Agathe in the green dress is a producer. I was sat opposite them on a prep day and twisted their arms…. I’m so glad I did, I can’t imagine this film without them!”
The music video is the latest in a long line of collaborations by Holly with musicians. She has worked with Sinead O’Connor, Darkstar and Gwilym Gold, and last year won a VMA for the choreography for the video for Florence & The Machine’s Delilah. But despite garnering eight million streams, Moss Kena’s identity — and gender — remains widely unknown. “We didn’t even speak once,” Holly admits. “I don’t know their gender, age, race, nothing… and that became part of the thrill, making something for this anonymous person that I’ve come to feel like I love in some kind of way, knowing absolutely nothing about them.”