To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Hong Kong Ballet, D.C.-based Design Army conceived and designed a campaign that, states a release, “reflects the passion and vision of the company’s artistic director, Septime Webre. Vibrant, colorful and optimistic, the new brand campaign speaks to Webre’s dynamic energy and Hong Kong Ballet’s innovative spirit.”

According to Webre, “Hong Kong Ballet is committed to the notion that classical ballet can be of-the-moment. The new campaign positions our artists as contemporaries, with the colors drawing on Hong Kong’s extraordinary hues—both old and shockingly new. And I love the bold, graphic shapes the dancers’ bodies make in contrast to the surrounding architecture.”

The Design Army release stated that taking Revel’s Bolero “and integrating subtle layers of sound design that nods to the familiar pop culture cue of classic Kung Fu films — we told three stories through music. We move from a quieter classic feel, to one that’s more Hip Hop, and then while still Bolero — we refer back to Hong Kong Ballet’s Chinese roots. Each story brings in both heritage and pop culture cues. Dancers on basketball courts, choreographed to blend fluid ballet with martial arts power; fashion that embraces trendy athletic wear; and Chinese grandmas with pompoms cheering from the stands.

“The film takes the viewer on an unexpected and wildly colorful journey — from the streets of Hong Kong, to majestic Victoria Harbor, and a traditional banquet hall. Sheer beauty, gravity-defying movement and humor collide with cheeky Chinese grannies mimicking dancers, a traditional dragon with brightly colorful legs on point; and a happy emoji ending. Defiantly unconventional, this campaign defines Hong Kong Ballet: moving forward, never standing still.”

By way of background, in 2018, Design Army was approached by Hong Kong Ballet to develop a brand campaign that would reach a new audience and change the perception that ballet was only for the elite. According to the Design Army release: “There were three challenges we faced: membership was dwindling, brand language was inconsistent, and Hong Kong Ballet, while a prestigious national company, felt small and regional. Our goal was to establish a new visual identity and brand look encompassing the spirit and revolutionary vision of Webre while maintaining the integrity of the art form and the Hong Kong Ballet.

“Our intent was to change the perception of ballet and open dance up to a new audience — by showing the artistry and energy of dance in a modern context. This singular idea drove our thinking and process as we looked to develop a brand narrative that focused on the beauty and elegance of ballet and the grace and strength of dancers. Hong Kong itself, with its mix of ultra modern and traditional architecture was not only the backdrop for the campaign – but became a metaphor for ballet — two worlds merged into one. Ultimately bringing a classic art form into the 21st century.”

 

 

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