For dancer Mette Towley, every move is an act of protest
For Mette Towley, dance is an act of resistance.
Her love for the artform started when she was five after watched her uncle accompany dancers at the Baltimore School for Arts as a violinist. Towley’s career took off in 2014 when she joined Pharrell Williams’ troupe The Baes. At the tail end of 2017, and she shot to fame after featuring in the music video for N.E.R.D and Rihanna’s track “Lemon”, under the instruction of JaQuel Knight, the choreographer behind Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” dance. The video starts with Rihanna shaving Towley’s head before she unapologetically twerks and contorts her way through the night; each move hitting hard with physical and metaphorical female strength, her gaze unflinchingly meeting that of the camera.
Towley also features in N.E.R.D’s video clip for “1000”, alongside Future, which, with its narrative tracing white supremacy protests across America, is aimed at eradicating racism. Using movement and strength to enact a very literal form of body politics, Towley’s activism is about protesting through performance – making her a vital figure in contemporary dance.