WATCH: Lil Buck & Jon Boogz Will Blow Your Mind in this Haunting Video

September 18, 2016

Sound bites from news coverage of the horrific shootings that have shaken the U.S. in past months play over a two-dimensional, impressionist image: two men, sitting on a couch watching television (think Van Gogh, but if he were painting in the 21st century). As the camera pans closer to the men’s faces, they become recognizable: dancer-choreographers Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, who, in a heartbeat, erupt from the static image, flicking off the television and breaking into movement—the painting come to life.

This is the opening of the surreal and haunting “Color of Reality,” a video the pair released earlier this month in collaboration with visual artist Alexa Meade. Meade specializes in painting bodies, a craft applied here with brilliant succes. The unreality of Boogz’s meticulously detailed movement and Lil Buck’s particular brand of jookin’ is heightened, so even when they’re dancing full force you almost can’t believe that it isn’t computer animation.

But the work is about more than just amazing visuals. The men react to the real-life current events they are seeing on the television, oscillating between rapid-fire, blink-and-you-miss-it waves and isolations and slow, brittle walks and balances—the way your mind might race in anger or confusion at a piece of terrible news, or the heaviness that comes with grief and helplessness. Eventually, they move outside, into the three-dimensional world.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen dancers creating videos to address major issues in the last few months, but this may be the most inventive yet. Check out the full video below.

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