[artist id="504144"]Shakira[/artist] in a flesh-toned swimsuit, thrashing around in a golden cage, hanging upside down from the shimmering bars. Shakira reaching out her fingernails to claw you as she flexes and struts inside a sparkling ruby-red cave. What?
It’s the pop star’s brand-new video for her single “She Wolf,” naturally, which premiered Thursday (July 30), and as she told us recently, “I got new moves!”
New ones? The 32-year-old has been making a living by popping off a dizzying array of shaking, shimmying and belly-dancing acrobatics onstage and in videos since she was a teenager in Colombia. No one would complain if she busted out some old faves. After all, those old moves are some pretty fine ones. But a new album — her She Wolf comes out in October — brings with it the impulse to find fresh ways to dance.
“The music sort of dictates them to me,” she said. “Every song has the moves within it. Just like the rock has the shape of the sculpture within the rock. You just have to go find it.”
So how does Shakira find it? Sometimes she creates a one-woman movie studio. “I set up a camera on a tripod, and I put the music on, and I just start dancing and moving and whatever comes out, that’s what I try to recapture again,” she said. “For my videos and so on.”
For “She Wolf,” Shakira incorporates elements of ballet, popping and locking, tribal dance and moves that are reminiscent of those in the ’80s drama “Flashdance.” One thing is clear: Shakira is crazy flexible, and the metaphor of the she-wolf — “the woman at daytime and the animal at night,” she explained — has given the singer an opportunity to express herself in a way she never has before.
“This woman starts a journey going into her own closet,” she said, explaining the video’s concept. “She is in this surreal kind of world where other fun things happen. She’s just having fun. And there is also this other metaphor of the cage — the golden cage and the woman.
“I just wanted to express what it feels like for a she-wolf to be in captivity,” she continued. “To be in a golden cage. I think I’ve been in a golden cage most of my life. And now not anymore.”
But briefly, when Shakira stepped back into that cage, she seemed to connect with something deeper within herself. “I start doing all kinds of outrageous stuff and hanging upside down and doing stuff that wasn’t planned,” she said. “But it was kind of an improvisation. I just got caught in the moment.”