‘Mue,’ meaning ‘moulting’ in French, symbolizes the completion of one stage and the progression onto the next. This concept of rebirth and shifting identities is reflected in the fluid and dynamic nature of Koki Nakano’s music video for Mue. Directed by long-term collaborator Benjamin Seroussi, Mue has an atmosphere of tension and drama which often underpins periods of change or growth.
For this dance film, Koki Nakano enlisted world-renowned contemporary dancers and choreographers Nicolas Huchard, Nick Coutsier and Christian Yav. Notwithstanding the gilded expanse of Paris’ town hall where this film was shot, the trio of dancers maintain a sense of focussed intimacy—reducing the lavish curtains, crystal chandeliers and classical paintings to background noise.
“This was the eighth video I shot for Koki,” says Seroussi, “and I have shot three videos for this project that were connected to very modern architecture; cement, metal, rust. I wanted something else. I wanted to shoot in an opera house, but under acid so as to give it a psychedelic feeling and bring a twist to the set.”
All the visual effects in Mue were achieved on set. Clever camera angles, vibrating mirrors and a reflected ceiling created a world that was constantly in a state of flux. In addition, no natural light was permitted entry so as to enhance the dramatic effect of the hand-operated lights. The director describes the end result looking like “liquid gold or golden water” spilling across the screen. “This is really what I had in mind: to use this big place as a base, to play around with it and to go from something very classic to something very abstract.”
Speaking about the spirit of the choreography, Huchard says: “As human beings we all need to belong, we all need to feel empowered by protective and inspiring people that will join us on an achieving journey.”
This reflects the nature of Koki Nakano’s album, Oceanic Feeling, which “Mue” is taken from. The title is an expression coined by French writer and musician Romain Rolland who described it as the “sensation of being one with the external world as a whole.”