Video Review: Ciara “Promise”

Against an olive-green background, Ciara, wearing a chocolate-brown embellished hoodie, dances.

Wearing a cropped t-shirt and jeans, she sits on a chair.

Stretched out on the floor, she sings into the microphone. She runs her fingers over the stand. She flings it sideways and gets up. She catches it as it swings and it rotates in a circle. Bending down, she moves the stand between her hands without touching it. She puts her leg on it and it leans to the left. With her weight still on the stand, she moves towards the center again. She lets the microphone fall to the right.

She leans back on the chair.

Against the olive-green background, several women join her in the dance routine.

She presses her hands into the seat of the chair and rolls her hips as she stands. She moves her hands to the edge of the seat and bends her knees.

She and the dancers lean into the brick wall and roll their hips.

In silhouette. she dances as several dancers, brushed in gold move around a steel structure.

She and the dancers sit against the brick wall, tapping their legs.

Wearing a turtleneck and fishnet stockings, she pounds her fist on the ground.

Lit in a bright, hazy red, she rolls her hips against the brick wall.

Wearing the chocolate-brown hoodie and baggy pants, she and the dancers dance by the brick wall.

Rating: 2/5

Microphone stands are usually limited to one place. The only extension seen is the cord. However, another function is found for the microphone: a pole. It seems to be made of rubber as it bends and glides across the floor. As Ciara leans into it, it molds to her body, becoming a part of her.

The silhouette has become its own cliché: the person is seen in black set against a single color backdrop. However, the silhouette is expanded. Ciara is still in black. The backdrop, though, is in white while the dancers are painted in a brushed gold. It breaks the unwritten two color rule. In turn, it brings the dancers to the forefront and Ciara becomes a shadow.

Nonetheless, downplaying Ciara is a risk which fails to pay off. Against the brick wall, its difficult to find her until the camera does. Once the other dancers join her, wearing the same hoodie and pants outfits, Ciara no longer stands out.

However, in two mismatched segments, she leans against the brick wall, lit in neon red and pounds on the floor, wearing a turtleneck and fishnet stockings. It overcorrects the error of blending her in with the others and breaks from the neutral color scheme.

Director: Diane Martel Year: 2006

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit & 45 Magazine.

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