As always there was a lot of talk about Beyoncé‘s Grammy performance and once again she delivered a visually stunning performance that made the most of her (very) pregnant state through imagery and costumes that transformed her into a living manifestation of an ancient fertility goddess.
Introduced by her mother, Tina Lawson, the metallic chain bikini she wore in the intro as well as the headpieces throughout her performance were designed by House of Malakai, with whom Beyoncé has worked with in the past. Peter Dundas through his newly-launched eponymous label designed the gold cape she wore with the first look, and also designed the intricately embroidered gold dress she wore for her second look, plus the red gown she changed into after she gave her acceptance speech.
Yellow has been a thematic color for all things Lemonade, as epitomized by the yellow dress (also designed by Dundas) she wore in the video for “Hold Up.” In in addition to the color of Lemonade, it’s been theorized the performer is channeling Oshun, a Yuruban goddess, who in Nigeria is associated with the color yellow.
In an interview with Vogue, discussing the launch of his label, Dundas confirmed the Oshun connection. According to the article [her embroidered dress] “mixed Gustav Klimt influence, Art Deco motifs inspired by Erté and lyrics from Beyonce’s song “Love Drought.” Sun rays symbolize the African goddess Oshun.”
In her Grammy acceptance speech for best urban contemporary album, she said Lemonade was a project meant to speak to the black Southern experience. “My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable.” Later she added, “And I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.”
The performance started with a holographic visual (in which she wore the first outfit) that morphed into the real Beyoncé, who strode onto a long wooden table at which sat 24 (perhaps the 12 apostles or the 12 chapters of Lemonade multiplied by two babies?) back up dancers, dressed in long-flowy gowns. The clutch-your-pearls moment came when Beyoncé reach the end of the table and sat down on a wooden chair that tipped back, along with the singer until she was nearly supine.
Check out video from the event along with images.
Introduction by Tina Lawson
— The FADER (@thefader) February 13, 2017
Medley of “Love Drought” and “Sand Castles”
— DWI AGUNG WIBOWO (@dagunkz) February 13, 2017
— Joey 3.0 (@TheRealBad_Ass) February 13, 2017
Acceptance speech for Grammy award for best urban contemporary album award.
— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE) February 13, 2017
Beyoncé’s dancers whooping it up after the performance.
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) February 13, 2017