Viral Videos

Hong Kong Ballet's 40th Anniversary Season Trailer Takes It to the Next Level

Still Courtesy Design Army

Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style. Today, the company released the new phase of its yearlong ad campaign, which includes the below film, a Wes Anderson-esque romp through the city fusing ballet with pop culture, filled with ferry boats, pom pom-wielding grannies and dim sum served in hot pink containers.


Conceived by Design Army, a Washington, DC-based firm that describes itself as a "strategic brand architect," this film, directed by Dean Alexander and choreographed by HKB artistic director Septime Webre, is part of the company's Never Standing Still campaign, which launched last year. The campaign is a reflection of Webre's vision for the company. Since taking over in 2017, Webre has worked to deepen HKB's classical roots while also pushing it to become more contemporary. The company's 40th anniversary season will include classics like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and George Balanchine's Jewels as well as more contemporary programming like Hong Kong Cool, a collaboration between choreographers and local fashion designers. This video reflects that balance between new and old: classical tutus are juxtaposed with neon pointe shoes, and Ravel's Bolero is remixed to accompany a dancer's snake-like hip-hop phrase.

Another shot from the campaign

Courtesy Design Army

The campaign also shows the unique East-meets-West fusion that defines HKB. Though Webre is American, the majority of the company's dancers are from Asia, and Webre is interested in celebrating its home city; In 2020, he will debut his new Nutcracker, set in historic Hong Kong. He's also promoting Ballet in the City, a series of free, site-specific performances at pop-up locations throughout the metropolis. This video showcases Hong Kong's urban feel, from architectural facades to the picturesque Victoria Harbor, and plays homage to the city's Chinese roots, with nods to classic Kung Fu films and even a traditional Chinese lion (manned by two dancers on pointe). This kind of eye-popping ad campaign has certainly captured our attention, and raises the bar for companies everywhere.

News
A still from Dancing Dreams. Courtesy OVID

If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.

Starting August 23, OVID, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its library. The best part? There's a free seven-day trial. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)

From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you:

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos

French ballerina Zizi Jeanmaire first gained fame when she premiered the titular title role in Roland Petit's Carmen in 1949, opposite Petit as Carmen's lover Don José. With her famously cropped hair (and cropped tutu!), Jeanmaire's performance as the seductive gypsy took the world by storm, catapulting her and Petit's careers.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Skylar Brandt and Josephine Lee. Screenshot Courtesy Lee.

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. We think Brandt might win an award for how long she makes her shoes last; watch the below video for the staggering number of days (or weeks!), and to hear about all of her unique customizations and pro tips.