David Knight - 10th June 2019

Madonna, the great agent provocateur of pop, has engaged the vision of Emmanuel Adjei to create her boldest, most provocative video in years - featuring a searing performance by Mykki Blanco, as Joan of Arc.

Blanco plays the hunted, defiant and doomed Joan in the Dark Ballet video - the distinctive modern casting of a transexual in the role of a timeless symbol of the powerless and downtrodden, in an otherwise believably medieval setting.

It's immaculately created by Adjei on the epic scale that distinguished his MVA-winning video for Sevdaliza's Shahamaran last year, and Blanco fits seamlessly into that world, where beauty and music video aesthetics sit alongside moments of real horror - Adjei certainly does not shy away from Joan's terrible fate.  

This is also Madonna getting back to one of her favourite themes - the systemic repression of the Catholic Church. Perhaps boldest of all, as she locks horns with an old adversary, she remains largely invisible herself. She only appears in one shot in the entire video.

Watch 'Madonna 'Dark Ballet' by Emmanuel Adjei' here

PRO Credits


DirectorEmmanuel Adjei
ProducerTom Birmingham
Production CompanyCOMPULSORY
Production CompanyDreamers
Executive ProducerChris Toumazou
Executive ProducerMelodie Saba
Creative DirectorImogen Snell
Make-upIsamaya French
Make-up AssistantPorsche Poon
Production designerPaulina Rzeszowska
Stylist (Artist)Eyob Yohannes
HairAndy Lecompte
StillsRiccardo Castano
ChoreographerMegan Lawson
EditorDanny Tull
Post production companyMathematic
VFX SupervisorYann Aldabe
FlameMichael BIANCHI
VFX ProducerGuillaume Marien
Post ProducerJulia Kerguelen
Service CompanyReady To Shoot
Service ProducerMargarida Adónis
Lead actorMykki Blanco
Other credits1st Assistant Director: Dilia Brito 2nd Assistant Director: Vanessa Patricio PM: Paulo Guedes Talent & Production Coordinator: Sara Brito Prod Secretary: Renata Amaro Location Manager: Tiago Nogueira + Luis Santos + Joao Barata + Joao Correia Local Stylist: Isabel Carmona Local MUA & HD: António Carreteiro Local Art Director: Sebas Serra Props Buyer: Ruth Levy Drivers: Hugo Per

David Knight - 10th June 2019

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