Nina Cristante is an artist, autodidactic nutritionist, Aquarius and my best friend. Had it not been for a mutual friend linking us during her temporary stay in NYC seven months back, I may’ve never been introduced to the full spectrum of her work. Just a subtle trail of digital breadcrumbs. Slow-mo-promo. A whisper, a wink, a bikini body meme. A deliberately ambiguous website hosting austere at-home workout videos and fragments of clients’ food diaries.
Ok, this is a kuduro video. There are a shitload of blog entries and articles about this genre hailing from Angola and the Angolan diaspora. Read up. I’m only discussing the video here, which is “Mama Kudi” by DJ Nays and Costuleta. The video begins with a BMW SUV pulling up on a dirt road, then all hell breaks loose. We see the requisite dancing girls, but more importantly, Costuleta—the one-legged co-producer of this track—is dancing with and without his crutches in a way that two-legged men could only dream of doing. In a variety of locations and outfits (this video is a collage of several others), Costuleta owns his disabled prowess, even adding a one-legged dancing boy (in basketball attire, no less) to make it all the more palatable. From his rippling and ripped, stone-washed jeans, we see a man possessed by life and the inescapably sick rhythm of kuduro. There’s a hilarious scene where he pretends to use his other shoe as a phone, while sliding up the floor. He repeats this gesture in a few other videos, making it his “thing.”
I can’t even begin to delve into his catalogue of outfits; they’re all fake, third world sporty genius—my favorite kind of sportswear. The video ends with Costuleta riding a bicycle and quickly cuts to him rollerblading through a mall!
Speechless? Join the club.