Historically, the Academy Awards aren't a super-dancy event—after all, there's still no award for best movie choreography. But this year, pop icon Janelle Monáe brought all the next-level dancing (and over-the-top theatricality) we ever could have dreamed of in her opening number.
In a performance choreographed by the fantastic Jemel McWilliams, Monáe revamped her 2010 song "Come Alive," and shouted out every major movie from 2019—even films that didn't receive Oscar nominations, like Queen & Slim, Us, and the Eddie Murphy-led Dolemite Is My Name.
"We had a unique opportunity to celebrate artists, share love, and be our most authentic selves," says McWilliams. "These are the moments that inspire me most as an artist!"
It was true movie magic getting to witness Monáe's troupe of backup dancers, costumed in everything from Joker makeup to Little Women period dresses to Midsommar flower crowns, getting down alongside both Monáe and the ever-fabulous Billy Porter, who joined her onstage for a quick rendition of "I'm Still Standing." And the backup featured a slew of our favorite commercial phenoms, including Alex Wong, Maycee Steele, Sherrod Tate, Ryan Ramirez, and Vincent Noiseux.
As always, we're totally here for awards shows featuring lots of talented professional dancers.