2014 was a huge year in dance from Maddie Ziegler and her nude leotard in Sia's "Chandelier," to Kiesza's one-take epic, "Hideway," to the birth of the Taylor Swift-approved Shmoney Dance. Not to mention Beyonce, who turned a music video into the ultimate choreographed selfie and dominated stages during her global “On The Run” tour with Jay-Z. Enter Jake Nava, the man who directed Queen Bey’s "Crazy in Love" and "Flawless," to turn these trends into a thrilling video tribute to the dance styles and associated fashion subcultures that triumphed in 2014.
2014: Dance and Rituals, which Nava calls an “epic choreography extravaganza,” was released today by YouTube as an ode to the year that was and a precursor to the upcoming 2015 Youtube Music Awards. The video is filmed in a fluid and intimate style reminiscent of Beyonce’s "Single Ladies," and captures the year in dance and fashion through snapshots of teenage mating rituals. In addition to the ubiquitous moves of Shmurda, Kiesza, and 2014’s most recognizable wig, Nava’s varied inspirations include normcore, Iggy Azalea’s "Fancy," 90s revival and Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Skrillex, and more. In the film, set to the soundtrack of "New Dorp. New York," by SBTRKT featuring Ezra Koenig, each pair of young dancers flirts and seduces one another with these dance moves. “They are dancing like their lives depend on it, with all the intensity and charisma of any teenager out to conquer their eyes’ desire,” explains Nava.
“The importance of dance in global popular culture is growing all the time and YouTube has played an essential part in it, says Nava. “It has revolutionized dance, made it accessible to a widest global audience, allowing people around the world to share their passion, their unique knowledge, individual style and experience.” He sees YouTube as the great equalizer: even the unknown, non-professional dancer should be celebrated.
Over the years, Nava has directed numerous now-iconic videos including Kanye West’s "Monster," Britney Spears' "My Prerogative," Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off," and Usher's “Burn." For 2014: Dance and Rituals, he takes the insight and knowledge culled from directing the past decade's music royalty and transfers it over to the young performers employed to tell the story of the dances and style trends that took over the world in 2014.