From ‘Homecoming’ to ‘Spirit,’ Here’s How Beyoncé Celebrates Color in Her Performances

Her performances are powerful and, almost always, bursting with color. From her music videos for “Spirit” and “Bigger,” to last year’s Coachella performance, Beyoncé has a way of celebrating color. Here’s the meaning of the hues in Beyoncé’s Homecoming performance and her music videos for The Lion King: The Gift.

Beyonce at 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2
Beyonce | Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Beyoncé celebrated historically Black universities at Coachella in 2018

She honestly never has a day off. Last year, Beyoncé made history as the first woman of color to headline Coachella. Dressed in bright yellow and pink, (amongst other costumes,) Beyoncé strutted across the Coachella stage. Since then, the performance became a cultural phenomenon, celebrating color, Black culture, and Beyoncé’s discography.

Over a year passed since her Coachella performance. Still, the artist keeps busy producing music and making waves in the music and film industries. Recently, Beyoncé starred as Nala in Disney’s photo-real adaptation of The Lion King and releasing her own Netflix documentary, Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé.

Beyoncé | Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella

Beyoncé discussed her use of colors in her Netflix documentary, ‘Homecoming’

During her Homecoming documentary, Beyoncé explained that she played a role in deciding the costumes and the colors in her performance. According to The Oprah Magazine, the artist gave a nod to historically Black universities “by wearing Balmain hoodies (in yellow for weekend one, pink for the second performance) that resemble those worn by members of the Black Greek organizations.”

Some fans speculated that Beyoncé wore yellow to represent her album Lemonade. As for the pink, some believed it could symbolize pink lemonade. Others argued the pink could just a contrast to the yellow hoodies of the first performance. Beyoncé again plays with these contrasting colors in her music videos for “Spirit” and “Bigger,” two songs off Beyoncé latest album, The Lion King: The Gift.

Beyoncé released the music videos for ‘Spirit’ and ‘Bigger’ off of ‘The Lion King: The Gift’

Before The Lion King: The Gift’s premiered, Beyoncé released her music video for “Spirit.” Notably, the video featured beautiful landscapes, bright costumes, and even Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy. In an interview, the artist said she wanted to capture nature’s beauty and “the beauty of melanin.”

The concept of the video is to show how God is the painter, and natural beauty in nature needs no art direction. It’s the beauty of color, the beauty of melanin, the beauty of tradition,” Beyoncé said during an interview with Good Morning America. “It was important that we weren’t just inspired by Africa but that we actually included and learned from the motherland.”

While there were colorful backgrounds in the music video, the video focused on Beyoncé’s wardrobe. The artist and her dancers sport bright blues, soft lilacs, and mossy greens. Maria Claire pointed out that the color of Beyoncé and Blue Ivy’s hair could hold some hidden meanings. Specifically, the red hair could be a commentary on Disney’s casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

“In stepped Beyoncé, filling her music video with Black women and girls with red hair,” stated the article. “Only last week, she was spotted filming the music video at Havasu Falls—so it’s very possible that she selected the red hair to counter the racists targeting Halle (who is signed to Bey’s label, Parkwood Entertainment, alongside her sister as Chloe x Halle).”

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé is available for streaming on Netflix. The Lion King: The Gift is available for listening on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and most major music streaming platforms.