Contradiction of Silence

In 2014, Bolon, the internationally known Swedish design and flooring company (that I confess to having never heretofore heard of), came up with a great idea for marketing their new line “Silence” with a gem of an ad that features a collaboration with renowned and truly inventive choreographer, Alexander Ekman. Whether intentional or not, part of the irony and fun of this ad is that Bolon prides themselves as being “inspired by the calm, tranquil beauty of the forests, lakes and wide skies of their Swedish homeland,” which this work by Ekman is anything but.

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Having seen very few of his works either live or on film, this one sealed the deal in terms of Ekman’s brilliance. While too often choreographers know only dance, Ekman clearly has a frame of reference that extends into art, architecture, film, fashion, production design, and all aspects of popular culture. In Contradiction of Silence he integrates his choreography with movement and visuals that work perfectly together to create something truly wacky, beautiful, and super cool. With the rates at which styles of commercial media change, that this ad—which of course also works as a dance film—still holds up as singular five years later is a testimony to its uniqueness and madcap power.


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