Y La Bamba just released a music video for “Ponce Pilato” off last year’s Court the Storm. Shot in grainy 16mm in the Redwoods and the Puget Sound, the short film feels like a fairy tale ode to a mostly forgotten art form that’s been all but reduced to a punch line: synchronized swimming.
Perhaps no surprise given Portland’s love of things past, there just so happens to be an upstart group of water ballerinas, the Olivia Darlings, in town who are tipping off a Kickstarter campaign with the goal to distribute over 100 “Aquatic Art” kits to community pools and swimming organizations around the U.S. to rekindle the lost art. In a partnership of band and aquatic dance troupe, the video, directed by Madison Rowley, culminates in lovely water dancing in the Puget Sound—and pays tribute to the “Million Dollar Mermaid,” actor Esther Williams, who’s golden screen swimming skills launched a new movie genre—the Technicolor "aqua musicals”—and greatly influenced synchronized swimming. Williams passed away last Thursday.