An independent Montreal music video defeated Beyoncé and won the UK Music Video Awards 2020 for best choreography.
Artist Sheenah Ko teamed up with a team of about a dozen dancers to create a short film in which the pop kings were defeated.
“I tried to manifest it this morning. I said, “Yeah, we’ll win.” But don’t really expect it until it happens, “said Ko.
The winning video was for her song Wrap me up It was filmed almost two years ago in the basement of a church in the Rosemont district.
“It became this concept that everyone was present like a self-help group in the basement of an old church. I kind of act like that strange guru lady, ”Ko explained.
The eye-catching, dramatic choreography was the brainchild of Ko’s frequent collaborator Brittney Canda. Canda, who performs contemporary dance at Ko’s live shows, co-directed the video with Vincent René-Lortie.
“The process was really about highlighting everyone’s individuality and how they express anger and tenderness,” Canda said in an interview.
The turn of a self-help meeting reveals a diverse cast of dancers who go wild with anger, but ultimately come together before turning on Ko, the session leader.
“It almost seems like the guru cannot take her own advice,” said Ko.
“We were really lucky to have such a strong group of dancers who were so ready to give so much,” said Canda.
The video made its way to the prestigious UK Music Video Awards, and suddenly the tiny independent production competed against industrial titans in two categories, including best choreography.
“We’re running against huge music videos made for Beyoncé. There was another video for Christine and the Queens,” said Ko.
When the host of the virtual awards ceremony announced that the video had won the award for best choreography, Ko and Canda were blown away.
“I just screamed,” said Ko.
“I felt really sick and I don’t remember too much,” said Canda.
Due to COVID-19, they accepted the award via video chat from home. Canda, who has worked on music videos with various musicians, is now receiving calls to work with artists so big she can’t talk about them.
“This big, big award, the biggest achievement, was in the living room,” she said, wishing she could have attended the show in person and networked with other people in the industry.
Koh couldn’t be more proud of the recognition and the way the video has resonated with its large new audience.
“I love Beyoncé, but I’m really glad we beat her.”