The Original Concept of Lady Gaga's 2013 VMA Performance Revealed


Torture, floating performers, and Ron Athey -- all this and more were included in the original treatment for Lady Gaga's performance of "Applause" at the 2013 VMAs. Creative development and production company, Dissident -- a company that "converges at the intersecting realms of visual arts, film, music, fashion sport, emerging technology, and international event installation" -- have posted the case study on their website, revealing details from the original outline that MTV Networks turned down. Lady Gaga recently revealed that she wanted look alikes to wear her iconic looks from past music videos on the red carpet, but MTV also refused to let her carry out her vision.

Check out the treatment below along with the original reference images and some rehearsal photos of the final product!

CASE STUDY: BLACK AND RED INTO BLINDING WHITE LG begins on the center stage B below LED scoreboard, in a draped black gown (see reference image). The KAWS head turns to reveal a black backdrop (ex.: silk) stretched across the truss of the head. A red torture performance possibly involving artist Ron Athey (TO BE CONFIRMED) is displayed on an incline, with mirrored, bloody glass (see reference image). LG very slowly walks the catwalk to the main stage over a period of one minute and forty seconds. At 1:40 / as LG arrives at the black silk drop, it drops kabuki style and is immediately pulled offstage to reveal a blinding white paradise garden (see reference images), filled with LG performers, possibly floating or displayed on tall pedestals (see attached looks). At the same time as the black screen drops, LG’s black dress drops to reveal the same elegant gown in white. LG begins to walk stage left across the stage in profile over the course of two minutes. As she crosses the torture figure, the dress turns red. At 3:13, LG begins to fly diagonally up stage right in front of the white garden. The song ends as she is still ascending diagonally above the garden. At 3:36 or the end of the song, there is a black out; she is lowered and the head turns back to original position for next act. The exact timing of the walk, if her song is to be preceded by other noise/white noise etc./prior to it starting, etc. is ytd.


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