Madonna has released new single ‘Dark Ballet’ – complete with an epic six-minute video starring Mykki Blanco as Joan Of Arc.
‘Dark Ballet’ is the fifth single to preview Madonna’s new album ‘Madame X’, which is released next Friday (June 14).
The final single to be released before the album, ‘Dark Ballet’ incorporates elements of composer Tchaikovsky’s 1892 classical work ‘The Nutcracker Suite’.
Directed by Emmanuel Adjei, the video sees Blanco imprisoned and menaced by Catholic leaders. Bound in ropes, Blanco is burned at the stake at the end of the video.
Madonna herself only appears briefly in the film, half-hidden in a veil as she watches and offers Blanco encouragement as he is led from his cell.
The video starts with a quote from 15th century martyr Joan Of Arc which says: “One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.”
The video ends with a quote by Blanco, stating: “I have walked this earth, Black, Queer and HIV Positive, but no transgression against me has been as powerful as the hope I hold within.”
Speaking about the inspiration for the song and its video, Madonna said: “Joan Of Arc fought the English and she won, still the French were not happy. Still they judged her. They said she was a man, they said she was a lesbian, they said she was a witch, and, in the end, they burned her at the stake, and she feared nothing. I admire that.”
‘Madame X’ is Madonna’s 14th album and her first since ‘Rebel Heart’ in 2015. Its previous singles were ‘Medellin’ featuring Maluma, ‘Future’ featuring Quavo, ‘I Rise’ and ‘Crave’, which features Swae Lee. The other featured artist on the album is Anitta, who guests on ‘Faz Gostoso’.
The album reunites Madonna with producer Mirwais, who helmed her 2000 album ‘Music’.
Madonna will play a 15-date residency at the intimate 2,300-capacity London Palladium in from January 26-February 15 2020. The shows are part of a European run which also includes intimate concerts in Lisbon and Paris.