Thirty-four year old Beyoncé is not playing anymore, gone is the play nice and smile Southern Belle replaced by a more grown Steel Magnolia, who, fresh off the release of the black-centric “Formation” single and video (see all the style and production details here), continued to touch on the black identity and consciousness themes for her halftime Super Bowl performance.
Choreography included raised fists, the field formation of an x (we presume as in Malcom X), and in case anyone missed that message, her dancers after the show were photographed (and trust, Team Bey aka Media Control Freak Central was aware and approved) holding a sign that read “Justice 4 Mario Wood,” yet another young black man shot under questionable circumstances by San Francisco police in December 2012.
Paying homage to Michael Jackson and Black Panther Party, the Bey and her dancers wore all black leather costumes topped by the pro-black activist group’s trademark beret. Costume jackets and skirts were designed by DSquared2, with bodysuits by Ashton Michael and harnesses by Zana Bayne. In the case of her dancers, boots were provided by Dr. Martens.
Commenting on her look, DSquared2 designers Dean and Dan Caton said, “We love Beyoncé and wanted to create something where she resembles a warrior leading her female posse who fall into formation and take Super Bowl 50 at half-time!” Her costume included a military-inspired gold sash that formed a giant x across her chest, similar to the costume worn by Michael Jackson during his Super Bowl appearance in 1993.
Heading off any criticism that Bey’s video and performance are just for show, Jay-Z’s music streaming service, Tidal, in association with Roc Nation announced just before the Super Bowl it would donate $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and other social justice organizations.
— BLM Bay area (@BLMBAYAREA) February 8, 2016