‘I have walked this earth, Black, Queer and HIV positive, but no transgression against me has been as powerful as the hope I hold within’
Madonna has dropped “Dark Ballet”, the video for her fifth tune from the forthcoming Madame X album. In the stark, religiously-charged visual, directed by Emmanuel Adjei, Mykki Blanco plays Joan of Arc.
The video see Mykki square off with religious figures in church settings, dancing and interpreting Madonna’s stark, reflective lyrics before the inevitable burning at the stake. Madge appears underneath a black veil, contemplative.
“She fought the English and she won, still the French were not happy,” Madonna says of the historical, cultural figure Joan of Arc. “Still they judged her. They said she was a man, they said she was a lesbian, they said she was a witch, and, in the end, they burned her at the stake, and she feared nothing. I admire that.”
“Cause your world is such a shame/Cause your world’s obsessed with fame,” Madonna sings. “Cause your world’s in so much pain/Cause your world is/Cause your world is up in flames.”
In the closing of the visual, Mykki says in a moving monologue: “I have walked this earth, Black, Queer and HIV positive, but no transgression against me has been as powerful as the hope I hold within.”
Madonna’s album is set to drop next week, her first full-length release since Rebel Heart in 2015. “Dark Ballet” follows “Medellin”, anti-gun violence track “I Rise”, “Crave” featuring Swae Lee, and “Future” featuring Quavo.
Madame X is out June 14