Janet Jackson – The Pleasure Principle

I can’t even begin to describe the impact this video had on me. The dancing’s elegant, the song’s powerful. And Janet… just… Janet.

Everything about this woman I want to be: her confidence, her integrity, her smile, her sensuality… her BODY! But her dancing and her lyrics are what made me fall head over heels as if I was hit with a shooting star. Though I didn’t see this video when it was first released — my first inclination coming with Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”, which led me to Janet — it was the song that solidified my absolute ardour for the craft. And wouldn’t you know it, Janet’s choreographer in her Control days was none other than Ms. Abdul herself. It makes sense that my all-time favourite dancer would be essentially trained and brought up with one of the most highly respected choreographers of all time.

The video is simple, unfettered with prettiness, bright lights, or even any intense dance breaks. The MV is a dance break, or rather it’s (seemingly) a practice session in which the audience is able to see the blossoming of a gorgeous dancer and powerful artist. Director Dominic Sena — someone who would become a longtime creative collaborator for Ms. Jackson — gave the future idol a blank palette, a white canvas for her to place her precision and strength on display and allow viewers the opportunity to experience something incredible.

“Pleasure Principle” is a true dance masterpiece and should be lauded as such.

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