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Emir Taha 'Lades' by Josh Thornton-Allan

Ndella Longley - 3rd May 2022

Turkish-born artist Emir Taha challenges expectations of masculinity in this delicately detailed video, directed by Josh Thornton-Allan. 

Shot on 16mm, the video opens with glimpses of sequins, elegant hand movements and Emir playing the guitar and singing into a darkened space as a lone dancer moves in its centre. The visual combination of 16mm film and dynamic lighting highlights the masculine form in an intimate and visceral way whilst simultaneously casting a dream-like gossamer over the scene. 

“Emir came to me with the idea of a male belly dancer and it immediately captured my imagination," says Thornton-Allan. "Exploring the subversion of societal norms through art is always an exciting prospect. I wanted to portray the dance in a way that both highlighted the dancers masculinity but also showed dance as the genderless act it can often be." 

Thornton-Allan adds that it felt perfect to shoot the video on 16mm. “Film has a texture and feel that is both physical and immediate whilst also feeling sensual and ethereal," he says. "It meant that everything could grow out of Gabh’s performance - rather than coming to it with a meticulous shot list it gave us the freedom to just explore the raw physicality of the dance.”

The dancer in question Gabh Diniz, is revealed by bright light as we hit the chorus. The performance is just that, a revelation, the spectrum of gender fluidity and masculinity being explored in Diniz’s fluid and sensual movements. Emir  performs understatedly in the background, a watchful narrator. The video is at once delicate, hypnotic, hazy and powerful in its dignified, meaningful artistry. 

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Ndella Longley - 3rd May 2022

Tags

  • Choreography
  • Director's notes
  • Performance
  • Pop
  • Alt-Pop

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Josh Thornton-Allan
Producer
Finn James
Production Company

Camera

Director of Photography
Carmen Pellon
Focus Puller
Rich Savage
2nd AC
Aston Born

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Alex Rice
Spark
Alex Cullen

Wardrobe

Stylist
Lewis Munro

Casting

Lead Dancer
Gabh Diniz

Editorial

Editor
Gary Coogan⁣⁣
Editing company
The Quarry

Grading

Colourist
Colour grade company
The Mill

Agent

Director's Representation

Commission

Commissioner
Louis Danckwerts
Label
Polydor

Misc

DoP's representation
Wizzo

Ndella Longley - 3rd May 2022

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