FKA twigs invites audiences to witness the experimental hinterlands of her imagination with her headline tour of Magdalene, kicking off in Vancouver. The multidisciplinary performance showcases the artist’s range of dance, music, and direction, in tandem with equally creative costume design and a sensational light show.
Twigs arrived onstage with tiny black retro sunglasses and a stripped down parachute pant costume, tap dancing in conversation with a mixture of jazzy vocals and trap beats in front of the curtain. The precedent for captivating the audience via a mix of talent and surprise was set.
Next, she donned a white feathery pirate-esque costume—the first of half a dozen costume changes all designed along a fusion of Jacobean decadence with hip-hop elements. Each costume change expressed the feminine aesthetics of each song—from powerful sword-donning matador, to throwing herself to the floor repeatedly with heart-wrenching force, to stripped down bedazzled pole-dancing seductress (accompanied by lyrics suggesting having sex with the lights on), to a commanding reimagined Victorian ballgown made out of men’s shirts and studded with ribboned roses in “Two Weeks.”
Adding more emotion and skill to an already exhilarating performance, a team of four dancers took the stage with a range of hip-hop repertoire with contemporary ballet elements and a theatrical use of masks. While taking in the impressive choreography, the audience then gets surprised again: the second curtain dropped, revealing scaffolding with three musicians adding live elements to the track!
Twigs’ characteristic breathy vocals oscillate between soft whispers exploring vulnerability and strong cries showing her impressive vocal range in the emotional single “Cellophane”. Charged by the catharsis, her powerful pole-dance routine is followed by the four dancers on the pole simultaneously while confetti is fanned onto the crowd from above in a surreal reverie.
The immersive experience ends with the spotlight on Twigs at the very front of the stage with the curtain closing just behind her, while she breaks her captivating enigmatic presence by laughing, saying ‘thank you, Vancouver’ between giggles. In turn, the audience breaks their characteristic slack-jawed silence and roars with praise.