We’ve seen Selena Gomez as a teen wizard, a spring-breaking college student, a tabloid fixture and, until very recently, one half of a famous pop culture couple. But finally, at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards, we saw Selena take the stage for her performance of “Come & Get It” and prove her prowess as a triple threat and maturing musician.
Wild-haired, barefoot and adorned in a dupatta, tunic and bindi, Gomez was flanked by a harem of dancers. She summoned bhangra beats, Bollywood, Thai dancing and “Arabian Nights” in a performance that borrowed from and mashed up several ethnicities and seemed to salute several Eastern members of the United Nations all at once.
Selena’s new single is a confident mantra, and her “Come & Get It” Movie Awards performance saw the singer making good use of her husky alto while tackling complex Bollywood-inspired choreography for a more mature moment that felt less Disney schoolgirl and more tempting seductress.
Her “Come & Get It” performance marked the first time she sang and danced simultaneously during a televised show. And though during rehearsals she told MTV News that she was nervous to perform the song live, her louche, alluring set expertly belied any overt anxiety.
Much like Britney Spears, Selena seems to be in the In the Zone phase of her musical career, experimenting with world music and taking confident control of her sexuality. Her sultry, earthy and ethereal Movie Awards performance cast her in a new light that felt like a hat tip to Spears’ iconic “Slave 4 U” performance at the 2001 VMAs (and, more recently to Rihanna’s “Cockiness/ We Found Love” performance at the 2012 VMAs).
Gomez most overtly referenced Indian culture, striking silhouettes that conjured images of the Indian goddess Kali, often associated with empowerment — an apt reference for a singer (and actress and now dancer) who proved at the Movie Awards that she’s completely comfortable both onstage and in her own skin, and more empowered than ever.
What was your favorite part from Selena’s performance? Dish in the comments!