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Dance Talk

Dance Films With Daniel: A Monthly Series
A Weekly Commentary on a Video Incorporating Dance
Inaugural Month: April

Dances created for the camera exist in many contexts. Some are born out of pure commerce. Diesel brand developed this campaign and film, Make Love Not Walls, which launched in February (2017). ADWEEK calls the film “rousingly memorable.” The short features the ballet dancer Sergei Polunin who rocketed to mainstream fame in the video of Take Me To Church. The film has heart. It celebrates diversity, eccentricity, same-sex marriage, and offers a clever political response to Trumpian rhetoric. What of the dancing and the choreography?

The camera allows us mostly to view the bodies in full frame and to allow an image or sequence of movement to land: Polunin’s back attitude into passe pirouettes, jetes en tournant. There is an emphasis on gymnastic flips. While nothing ungeneric, it is welcome to see dance taking prominence in the message of universal love. Notably absent from the list of credits, below, is one for choreographer. Was this a collaboration between director David LaChapelle and Artistic director Nicola Formichetti? Did the talent supply the choreography? Most likely Polunin choreographed his pirouettes and jetes. TeenVogue writes: The campaign includes vibrant, rainbow-laden photos and a pride-centric video. It features several transgender and queer models…While it certainly hits on all the dark aspects of Trump’s hateful rhetoric, the final product is anything-but. The video, for instance, shows the models dancing, kissing, and busting through a heart-shaped hole in a wall.”

DAZED wrote: The debuting of such a powerful message comes at a time where many of us are questioning, quite frankly, just what the hell is going on in the world. Without dwelling too much on Trump and his proposed wall, we can all afford to be reminded of the importance of loving one another while aiming to banish hate and discrimination. Artistic director Nicola Formichetti explains: “At Diesel, we have a strong position against hate and more than ever we want the world to know that.”

Formichetti expressed to AdFreak: “As you can imagine, it was a big production. We built an actual wall in the middle of a desert and created an inflatable tank with a wedding scene and acrobats, which we shot over several days.” This tank will tour to Berlin, London, Milan, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo. “It was David’s idea to have a rainbow tank,” says Formichetti. “The tank is now a symbol of hope, a machine that used to divide now unites us!”

Client: Diesel
Campaign: Make Love Not Walls
Riccardo Bellini – Global CMO
Giada Gheno – Global Head of Advertising, Media & Product Marketing
Nicola Formichetti – Artistic Director
Jacob Wildschioedtz – Creative Director
Agency: Anomaly Amsterdam
Talent: Sergei Polunin, Stefan Meier, Danell Leyva, Octavia Hamlett, Laith de la Cruz, Raja, Karis Wilde, Taylor Banks, Kyle Kleiboeker, Jonathan Rivas, Britni Sumida, Vinny Balbo, Jeremiah Buren, Krista Jaspers, Miles Woods, Sabeerah Najee-Ullah, Junji Dezaki, Thais de Lima, Cody Callahan, Adeng, Erika Angel, Jay Decasby, Annie McGinty, Hanni Larma
Production Co.: CXA and Maavven
Photographer/Director: David Lachapelle
DoP: Fredrik Jacobi
Production design: Annie Sperling
Executive Producer(s): Steven Pranica, Coleen Haynes
Editor: Govert Janse
Post Production Company: The Moving Picture Company Ltd.
Music supervision: Amp.Amsterdam
Music: ‘Higher Love’ by Alex Vargas. Listen here: http://alexvargas.lnk.to/HigherLove
Remixed: Brewhouse.Amplified
Audio post production: Amp.Amsterdam
Colorist: Ricky Gausis