WASHINGTON — At first glance, it might be easy to mistake a D.C.-area native’s project for Beyonce’s Black Is King visual album that released in July 2020 on Disney+.
“There is fashion. There’s dance, of course. There is scenery. There is texture. There’s color,” Calvin “Calvin El Carter” Pickett said.
Calvin told WUSA9 that while he is inspired by Beyonce and the song ‘My Power’ from the Lion King soundtrack, his project is not a remake of the Queen B’s film.
“The treatment and the choreography and everything was made about a month or two before Black Is King came out,” he said.
Calvin’s project is called ‘POWER.’
The artist, choreographer, and creative director used DMV landmarks, such as, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art and Sand Sandy Point Beach on the Chesapeake Bay to transport viewers to Africa.
“Actually, back when – this was celebrated. This was looked at as kings and queens. It was empowered. So, let’s bring that back because maybe you forgot,” Calvin explained.
While 2020 has been filled with challenges including everything from the coronavirus pandemic to social unrest during the Black Lives Matter movement, this project was created to inspire people to find strength.
“Everybody may have felt like we hit rock bottom or there is nothing left to do. Stay down for a minute. You get a couple of days or so to dwell in it and then you’ve got to get up,” Calvin said.
The Prince George’s County resident said he hopes people feel empowered to change their circumstances or contribute to making a difference.
“Use your talents. You use your gifts and abilities to captivate everyone. You use that as your power,” he concluded.
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