As we all know well by now, dance can be a seductive visual vehicle when put to excellent use in embellishing music videos, features, and commercials. With its poetic lyricism, especially when augmented by beautiful looking and talented young dancers, it can make for a successful device in the selling of products. Couple this with the trained hand of a good director, who not only understands dance but whose vision extends into the use of movement as it relates to space, props, and editing, and you’ve likely got a winning combination of elements.
I’ve long been a fan of American born and France based Dominique Palombo (in a previous article for ScreenDance Diaries I’ve featured his gorgeous short, “Seeing Red”), and every so often I visit his website to see what’s new. This go round, I found this commercial for Tudor watches, Tudor “Tango.”
European commercials are longer and stylistically more nuanced (and frequently much more out there) than their American counterparts, and the one featured herein is the director’s cut so it may be dynamically different from what was approved for airtime. And while I love Palombo’s non-commercial shorts most of all – as in those not selling specific products – I really admire this commercial’s use of black and white tones, the location, the alternating of focused and blurred images, and of course the Tango music with mostly contemporary dance. And notice the clever snaking of the accordion as it relates to the undulating movements of the dancer, and the use of foreground and background props to create depth of field.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Founder/Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied by Nels Cline (Wilco). Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more. She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.
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