“Love Is a Lonely Dancer” by Antony & Cleopatra is an edgy music video for a pulsing electronica song with falsetto vocals paired with a soul-inspired vocal chorus. Not surprisingly, dance is central to the video’s concept. The video is devoid of all color, so the movement of the modern dancers provides the focal point. A female dancer in a black leotard and a broomish white wig jerks and pops in ballet-inspired movements. The wig completely covers the dancers’ faces, creating the impression that the women are dancing blind.
The directors begin to play with the concepts of individuality and duplication, having what seems like a lone dancer replicate into several. The number of dancers vary (never more than a handful), but each scene features individual dancers wearing the same costumes and performing the identical moves or staggered ones. Also, the face of the singer appears in parts. White lipstick against dark skin is mirrored in a split screen. This is not the only emphasis on disembodied parts, as many scenes feature only the arms or legs of the dancers.
The setting is industrial and underground, a deserted train station or parking lot providing a dismal concrete background for the gesticulating dancers. All the better to set off the visual effects, such as covering the dancers’ leotards in dozens of copies of the singer’s blinking face. A particularly unusual effect has the dancers’ legs scissoring from underneath the singer’s eyes, or a leg pumping from her mouth. Several shots are filmed from a side-rotated perspective.
The music stops while the credits roll, but the dancers don’t. They continue to kick and sway their limbs in black-and-white silence, lending the end of the video a little bit of a mime quality.
Overall, the video is impressive for creating interesting visuals on what was obviously a low-budget production. By adhering to a simple theme of contrast and replication, the directors make the most of relatively few elements. The video would not have had the same impact in color; the use of black-and-white film provides sophistication and smooths out the rough edges in the dancers’ costumes and movements. It also gives it the feel of a classic avant-garde film of the 20th century.
Antony & Cleopatra ‘Love Is A Lonely Dancer’ is an artistic commercial video.