‘As The Spirit Moves Me’ is a dreamy and sensual editorial by Wami Aluko exploring the relationship between dance, spirituality, and freedom for black women. This visual story follows 5 women dancing freely in an archaic white building in the middle of a luscious forest, clothed in all-white garments to match. Through dance, these women are able to escape from the confines of physical reality, becoming one with the divine and all that exists. The story draws inspiration from traditional Yoruba religious practices, from Nigeria and the diaspora, where dance is considered a significant ritual in connecting with the metaphysical realm.
Dance to Wami is a significant source of personal power. It has the ability to put one in a trance-like and meditative state where one can finally let go of thought and the rational and be guided by instinct and pleasure. Out of one’s head and into one’s body, in dance, one is led by intuition as opposed to preconceived expectations or fear. In this way, dance gives us the means to transcend linear and capitalist ways of viewing the world and our bodies. Through free movement, one is able to surrender and experience the fullness and depth of where one is, and it is here that one may find personal revelations and experience deep fulfillment. This feeling is particularly empowering for black women who have continuously been stripped of their power and dehumanised by the imposition of Western notions of rationality and personhood.
Creative + Art Direction and Photography – @wamialuko
Costume design – @_jsdez
Set – @kasumwoodworks
Set assist – @gbadeb0
Choreographer – @agochadavies
Make-up – @ayopoabiri
Hair – @inudidit