The power of the dance to convey a message is an essential element in a world where the screen has replaced face to face contact. Dance and music are inseparably intertwined in their ability to express emotion in a way that words fall short. They can set the mood or tone, adding to the other elements to put the finishing touches on the message. The power behind human movement springs from the fact that a majority of human communication is nonverbal. The verbal portion is only a small part of what is used to send and interpret the message. Dance is like a painting using the human body and form as its medium. The flowing together of the movement conveys the inner world and takes the message to a deeper level than static imagery. ‘
These are the key concepts gained from an exploration of the world or dance in media. The first commercial to be explored is the David Elsewhere Heineken commercial. One of the key themes that stood out in the Heineken commercial is the theme of transformation. The opening of the commercial takes the focus of a mostly dark city to the level of the individual. The lighting and tone of the scene are a largely dark. The first shot of the main character shows him with his head down, in a shadowy world. When he enters the club, the music begins to transform people. Dance coupled with images of the product show the ability to transform the dark and shadowy into the light. As the commercial progresses, the lighting becomes brighter and more cheerful.
To further this concept, the music and dance transform ordinary people into people doing something unexpected and extraordinary. For instance, once would not expect to see and older ethnic grill cook pop locking. Men in business suits are not the typical image either. If the characters were just drinking a beer and standing around socializing, it would be ordinary. The style of dance adds an element of extraordinary, connecting the image of Heineken to something extraordinary.
The second example of dance in the mass media is the Hyundai commercial using Pilabolus Dance Company. This commercial uses silhouette and the art of dance to convey the idea of transformation. As the shapes evolve, one can pick out archetypal images. The element of the man building the fire with the female figure sheltered safely is primal, invoking the feeling warmth, safety, and security. The image of the women in the historical dress is soft and feminine. The way she growing and spreads her arms in the sunshine conveys the image of growth and new possibilities. The image of the many cycling has a feeling of productivity and mechanical precision. Dance allowed the creators of this commercial to pack many messages into a short, compact time span. They said so much more with dance than they could have using traditional commercial imagery alone. In the end, they neatly tied these concepts and images to the product.
The third commercial is the Lawson’s Scotch commercial using the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby team doing the Haka. This commercial conveys a primal image of the battle, which also contains the idea of camaraderie and teamwork. It uses culturally relevant images. Those who are familiar with the tradition of the kilt can almost see it coming in the end. I really thought that this was the funniest commercial that I saw. The commercial was meant to make the viewer laugh, which releases endorphins and a good feeling. The commercial used this primitive ritual to create the element of humor. The guys in the commercial are acting silly and over exaggerating the situation. This is not a battle for life and death, it is a game. Yet, through their movements, they convey the message that it is a war. This dance is a satire of sports teams and “manly men”. Once the audience has a smile on their face due to the expected, yet unbelievable antics in the end, an image of the product is presented. This connects the image of the product to good times and feeling good. This was the most creative use of dance to evoke feeling.