If you want to start your awards show with a bang, opening with a Beyoncé song is as good as it gets. The 2022 Oscars skipped the standard host monologue, and instead gave the music legend free rein to perform her nominated song, “Be Alive” from King Richard, the Reinaldo Marcus Green directed biopic of Venus and Serena Williams. The choice proved wise as Beyoncé pulled out all the stops for her first awards show set in five years. Rather than take to the stage at the Hollywood & Highland venue, the star, along with Blue Ivy and scores of dancers, took over the Williams’ hometown court in Compton for an immersive performance.
The elaborate presentation—complete with a neon-clad orchestra and dancers in matching costumes—was a sight to behold, but so was the outfit selected by Beyoncé and her stylist. Dressed in a custom look from David Koma, whose spring 2022 collection featured the same vibrant hues, Beyoncé made her way across a tennis-green set worthy of a Busby Berkley musical. Roma’s transparent sequins and marabou feathers were as dramatic as it gets. To take her verdant color scheme from head to toe, the star accessorized with a pair of oversized mother of pearl earrings and a crystallized garter belt.
Designer looks aside, what truly made the performance memorable was how it paid homage to the Williams’ legacy and style. In addition to the unmistakable color scheme, each of the dancers had their hair braided and beaded a la the sisters’ ’90s coiffure, and the venue was the sight of the athletes’ earliest successes. Once named Leuders Park, the courts were where the sisters honed their skills before going pro. To have the Academy Awards begin, for the first time, not in an exclusive Hollywood enclave but on the streets of Compton spoke volumes about the direction of the night’s ceremony. All in all, Beyoncé’s set was a thrilling tribute, from one groundbreaking icon to another.
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