Music News

See It: Blakk Mantra's Social-Distancing Global Dance Party

Blakk Mantra's new video for "Donna Juanita" showcases underground dancers from around the world.
Blakk Mantra's new video for "Donna Juanita" showcases underground dancers from around the world. Blakk Mantra
Amber Leigh and Johnny Noble of the stoner-rock duo Blakk Mantra wanted to turn their music video for the song "Donna Juanita" into a worldwide dance party — with a social-distancing theme.

But with most people around the world in various stages of quarantine from COVID-19, the Denver musicians couldn't exactly go out and shoot the video themselves. So they recruited underground dancers from across the globe, who filmed their own performances and sent them in.

"I decided to find dancers through Fiverr who were interested in our song," explains Leigh. "I also wanted people of various skill levels. The only direction I gave was for them to move to the way the song made them feel. We wanted to support our [virtual] friends all over the world doing what they love."

The results are utterly charming. People walk on their hands in gyms; pop and lock, flip, shimmy and shake on rooftops; dance in empty rooms, alleys and dirt yards. Some are dead serious; others grin as they move. Some are wildly gifted, others so-so. A few aren't good at all.

It's the perfect strategy for illustrating a song about finding your passion before you die.

"The video felt like it needed to be something lighthearted, especially during these times," says Leigh. "Not being able to gather around people or go anywhere, this was the perfect way to connect with others using our music."

See the video:

For more of Blakk Mantra's music, check out the band's Facebook, Spotify and Instagram pages.
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris