Months have passed since Netflix premiered Beyonce’s documentary film, Homecoming, yet people still talk about it today. The critics love it just as much as Queen B’s fanbase. But what makes it so special? Let’s delve into the underacknowledged elements of Homecoming that contributed to its success.
The Event Behind the Event
Homecoming wasn’t made in a vacuum. It’s a product of months of preparation, and the two Coachella weekends Beyonce headlined in April 2018. Thus, a full appreciation of the film requires a look into the performances themselves — only then may we know why it was titled Homecoming in the first place.
You see, Beyonce already made Coachella history the moment she stepped onto the main stage. The arts and music festival has been around since 1999, but the headliner was never a black woman. Fast forward 19 years later, and Beyonce would forever change the festival landscape.
Here was a real performer, an artist who had something to say through song and dance. Beyonce went all-out, ensuring that there was a grand vision behind the gig. It’s called Homecoming because it gave the spotlight to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). And it wasn’t done with a mere mention — the gig featured a brass marching band and people who knew the rich culture in HBCUs.
Grueling Rehearsals for Everyone
Homecoming showcases a performance lasting almost two hours. The grand stage was huge and impeccably designed — and Beyonce filled it with black dancers and musicians. But aside from the cultural and political themes here, what many may not realize is how daunting the preparation was.
There were three sound stages to speed things up. The dancers, the marching band, and the creative team had their place to refine their output. It was a massive group, yet Beyonce took an active role. She’d go from one stage to the next to check not only the performances but also how they were going to be recorded. It was clear that the superstar already had the Netflix documentary in mind early on.
A Visual Vision and a Strict Diet
Beyonce didn’t choose her dancers at random. She picked them based on a variety of aspects that made them stand out, whether it was their face, physique, or dance style. As an artist, she knew how it was vital for them to look distinct on the stage as well. The 37-year-old legend wanted them to complement the stage, which featured colorful, eye-popping elements.
Beyonce herself had to keep up with everything. She was supposed to headline Coachella a year earlier, but she had to postpone to give birth to her twins on June 2017. After that, she followed a diet prohibiting carbs, dairy, meat, and even fish. Moreover, the hand choreography required extensive practice even for a stellar performer like her.
Beyonce in Full Control
Perhaps what makes Homecoming special is how it was clearly made by Beyonce. She chose the dancers, directed the documentary, took on the role of a writer, and served as executive producer. Here was a music sensation who proved she wasn’t limited by others in the record industry. She always had the agency, taking in $8 million for the Coachella gig and a $60 million from Netflix for a three-project deal.
With Homecoming being a hit, Beyonce has the world’s attention. We don’t know what she’s cooking up for the next two projects, but we’ll be there when it arrives.