Beyoncé and Her Favorite Prop, in Music and in Life

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 28 2011 3:29 PM

Beyoncé’s Greatest Collaborator: Her Fans

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Still of Beyoncé and fans in new music video "Dance For You."

Dance For You,” Beyoncé’s latest video to promote her album 4, debuted yesterday. The noir-influenced video—which features the venetian blinds, chiaroscuro lighting, and post-war costuming that go with the genre—depicts the singer as a femme fatale. She walks into a detective’s office, takes off her latex rain jacket, and commences a sultry dance, for some reason. (The detective doesn’t stop her to ask why. Would you?)

Forrest Wickman Forrest Wickman

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

The video has been posted widely, but one detail in particular caught my eye: the reunion of Beyoncé with her favorite stage prop, the industrial fan. Beyoncé has a long history with her fans, which have kept her mane aflutter as early as her first single, “Crazy In Love” (the fan portion of the video—she almost appears to make love to it—begins around the 2:56 mark). For a London party in 2009, the star even reportedly requested that a large fan be positioned near her face, to keep her hair blowing, at all times:

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The 28-year-old singer had hired a nightspot in London to party with the crew and dancers from her 'I Am Sasha Fierce' world tour and stunned event organisers with her bizarre request, reported Contactmusic.

"Beyonce arrived at about midnight with a massive entourage. On her table, alongside huge treasure chest cocktails, she had a big industrial fan which remained just inches from her face to keep her hair blowing everywhere …” said a source.

I would expect nothing less of the diva, who is not shy about her own showmanship. (The new video contains at least seven fans, an appropriately extravagant number.) Perhaps my favorite moment from one of her recent Roseland Ballroom shows was when a roadie walked out to Beyoncé’s mark, before the show, to test her fan. With instant Beyoncé hair, the stagehand looked fabulous.

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