The Oscars know that, in order to start an award show off with a bang, to really grab the audience’s attention, you throw Beyoncé on the screen and have her stage an eye-catching performance. But, in usual Beyoncé fashion, the number wasn’t just a grand opening to film’s biggest night, it also held a deeper message. The entire performance was filled with easter eggs and various references to the Williams sisters and their story, swathed in a blinding stage of tennis ball green.
The performance began with a group of young boys and girls walking triumphantly through the streets of Compton, Venus and Serena’s hometown, dressed in neon green. Demi Singleton and Saniyya Sidney themselves walked in front holding racquets, their hair adorned in beads just like the Williams used to wear. We then arrived to a tennis court drenched in the same bright color, the very one where Venus and Serena used to practice with their dad, Richard, as depicted in King Richard. Surrounded by crop top and tulle skirt-wearing backup dancers and singers, Beyoncé broke into Be Alive, her Oscar-nominated song. A full band backed her up as she announced where they were performing (“the city of Compton”). The singer, wearing a David Koma Spring/Summer 2022 look with a feathered top and sparkling sheer skirt sang as a celebration erupted around her.
But the surprises didn’t end there. These days, it’s rare for a Beyoncé moment to pass without the inclusion of Blue Ivy, so it was fitting when the 10-year-old danced onto the screen in her own green outfit, and ended the song sitting in front of her mother, joining in with the rest of the chorus. The result was a moment of dedication for the Williams sisters, a mother-daughter performance, and a bright start to the 2022 Oscars. It’s unclear how the night could go up from here.