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Nao 'Messy Love' by Lisette Donkersloot

Promonews - 5th Aug 2021

Lisette Donkersloot creates a gorgeously graphic combination of artist and dance performance for the triumphant return of Nao.

Inspired by Infrared photography, and working with choreographer Shay Latukolan, the Dutch director builds a radiant spectrum of colour and movement around the East London songstress's compelling performance of Messy Love - an ode to self-love, self-respect and choosing peace over the never-ending struggles of a detrimental relationship.

Donkersloot creates a little bit of magic with the combination of her studio staging - a series of ever-changing backdrops of sunsets in a range of colours - and the astounding dancers in their fantastic 'alien' mode: covered in indigo blue bodypaint and orange-coloured gravity-defying braid hair styles.  

The dancers perform an abstract choreography throughout the video to augment Nao's central position. They start out on the floor, then work their way up, portraying a metaphor of plants growing as they receive sunlight and water. In the end, they return to their original horizontal positions, holding on to their goddess NAO who is ready for a new circle of life.

Ultimately the video reflects the theme of the song and Nao's empowering lyrics in Messy Love, about a relationship that’s on the rocks: "I won’t break, said I won’t change my ways not even this time”. This is just as graceful, uplifting and beautiful as those words.


The dancers' magical energy and professionalism was beyond phenomenal.

"Creating this video for NAO, an artist I’ve admired for so long is really one of the best things for a director.

"I was so happy Shay [Latukolan, movement director], who I’ve known for quite some time now, was happy to jump on board. Apart from being the best in the industry, he also really got what I envisioned for this promo and outstandingly translated that to the choreography.

"He ensembled a stellar formation of female dancers. Their magical energy and professionalism was beyond phenomenal."

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Promonews - 5th Aug 2021


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Lisette Donkersloot
Lauren Mills
Production Company
Executive Producer
Daniella Manca
Executive Producer
Sorcha Shepherd
1st AD
Mark Gillespie


Director of Photography
Aaron Reid
1st AC
Murat Akyildiz
2nd AC
Grant Sandy Phillips


Production designer
Ash Halliburton


Stylist (Artist)
Ramario Chevoy
Costume designer
Maya Scarlette
Edmund Bossman
Make-up (Artist)
Mata Marielle


Movement Director
Shay Latukolan


Laura Cairney-keize
Editing company


Alex Gregory
Colour grade company
The Mill

Other credits


Jade Ford

Choreography Assistant

Shannelle 'Tali' Fergus


Shannelle 'Tali' Fergus, Nicey Belgrave, Belen Leroux, Dja Sinada, Kitz Katika, Melody Sinclair, Nicole Hastings, Robia Milliner

Promonews - 5th Aug 2021

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