Beyoncé enlisted lots of wild animals, some stunning couture and 242 dancers for her just-released "Run the World (Girls)" video. The moves reflect several genres of dance, from jazz, street, hip-hop to African, and her choreographer tells MTV News that was all part of the plan.
"We prepared a lot for it. We had seen something on YouTube; we had seen these three guys from Africa, this Mozambique African dance troupe ... we were like, 'Wow, this is an amazing movement,' " B's longtime choreographer, Frank Gatson Jr., told us about the Francis Lawrence-directed video. "And that movement has always been in the back of our head for the last year. From there, we talked about a lot of concepts."
The concept the team ended up settling on was a desert landscape ruled by two forces: Beyoncé and her supermodel minions and a very unwelcoming opposing army. "The environment, I have to give her and Francis that credit. She really challenged Francis on finding a world that's unique to her. We could have easily done it in downtown L.A. We could have easily done it in downtown New York, but it was really important to her to find a world that was unique to her look and image to her new project," he explained of the video for the lead single off her June release, 4.
While Beyoncé is the pop star, Gatson is quick to give credit to all of the dancers in the clip, including some that the team enlisted from Africa. "We say, 'Share the light, you sparkle brighter,' and we share our light with a lot of new, creative people. I feel like we really nailed it and, again, my hats off to the Tofo Tofo guys [from Africa], 'cause none of us could imitate that," he said. "We had to bring them around to learn that [move], which is really, really interesting. They had such a great vocabulary of movement."
Those two dancers not only helped shape the moves in the video, but also moved Beyoncé. "That was probably one of the most beautiful experiences for Beyoncé. They were so humbled," he said. "It was hard finding them. They were really in a remote area; we had to get the embassy people involved. That was a process that took about two months or more. Beyoncé really loved them and I'm pretty sure we'll see them again. It was magical."