Take Me to Church by Hozier stars Russian bad boy Sergei Polunin
Hozier’s Take Me to Church music video starring Sergei Polunin, directed by David LaChapelle and choreographed by Jade Hale-Christofi does more than entertain. It serves as a symbol of the insane strength, talent and courage it takes as an artist to create. Without even knowing the history behind each one of the artists involved it’s easy to fall in love with the video but when we peer a little deeper into the void we find more than meets the eye.
25-year-old Sergei Polunin is known as the “bad body” of Russian ballet for his decision to leave the Royal Ballet and then walking out on the Schaufuss Ballet’s performance of ‘Midnight Express’ just days before its opening night. His success started at an early age, joining the British Royal Ballet School at the tender age of 13 and becoming the youngest principal ever at the age of 20 so perhaps the fame and notoriety took more of a toll on the young dancer than anyone knew.
Meanwhile Hozier, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, started his journey in Ireland. He began a degree in music at Trinity College, Dublin, but dropped out midway through his first year in order to record demos for Universal Music. Releasing his hit single Take Me to Church in 2013, Hozier found success globally. In regards to the meaning of the song you’ll have to go deeper than the title.
In an interview with The Irish Times, Hozier stated, “I found the experience of falling in love or being in love was a death, a death of everything. You kind of watch yourself die in a wonderful way, and you experience for the briefest moment–if you see yourself for a moment through their eyes–everything you believed about yourself gone. In a death-and-rebirth sense.”
In an interview with New York magazine, he elaborated: “Sexuality, and sexual orientation – regardless of orientation – is just natural. An act of sex is one of the most human things. But an organization like the church, say, through its doctrine, would undermine humanity by successfully teaching shame about sexual orientation – that it is sinful, or that it offends God. The song is about asserting yourself and reclaiming your humanity through an act of love.”
To build on this stunning combo of dance and music, David LaChapelle directs the video with his sense of hyper-realism and social subversion. Known for his commercial and fine art photography which often conveys social messages, LaChapelle is also known as a somewhat bad boy of the art world. When LaChapelle was 17 years old, he met Andy Warhol, who offered him his first job as a photographer at Interview magazine. Warhol reportedly told LaChapelle “Do whatever you want. Just make sure everybody looks good.”
With this killer combo we can agree, these artist are creating what they want and everybody definitely looks good.