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.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for mixed media. I suppose it helps this video came out when I was still carrying a single digit in my age. I mean, it’s a cartoon and a girl who, at the time, was the greatest dancer I’d ever seen.
Indeed, Paula Abdul will always be one of the most gifted dancers and choreographers I’ve ever seen, and this video cemented her status in my mind. Not only do you have an incredibly clever concept (a fast-talking cat playing up to Paula’s mouse, the couple literally from two different dimensions), you’ve got a wide array of technical skill at hand. If Ms. Abdul’s skill was still under question after her debut single “Straight Up “, surely “Opposites Attract” swiped aside any naysayers or those critical of her actual technique.
For my part, it’s truly one of the most outrageously fun videos I’ve ever seen, with a groove that will forever get stuck in my bones and bring me back to a simpler time when all I wanted to do was dance. The creative force behind the MV (Candace Reckinger and Michael Patterson) pushed Paula and her feline honey MC Scat Kat to a higher plane of visual mastery. Literally, reminiscing about this video brought a huge smile to my face that didn’t fade until about three hours later.
It’s absolutely not surprise that as a part of my birthday week I added Michael Jackson’s Thriller to the list. Not only is it pretty much the benchmark of every music video since, it’s also one of the most creative, daring, and classiest pieces of art to be put on celluloid.
I really don’t have much to say. The video speaks for itself. As the first thing that TRULY frightened me as a child (so much so that when the song was played at a Halloween party at my elementary school, I screamed and cried until my dad took me out of the gym where it was being held… yeah, it was THAT deep for me). As I grew up, I realised exactly what a marvel this piece of music history was, an iconic part of pop culture that will never, EVER be forgotten.