Contradiction of Silence
In 2014, Bolon, the internationally known Swedish design and flooring company (that I confess to having never heretofore heard of), came up with a great idea for marketing their new line “Silence” with a gem of an ad that features a collaboration with renowned and truly inventive choreographer, Alexander Ekman. Whether intentional or not, part of the irony and fun of this ad is that Bolon prides themselves as being “inspired by the calm, tranquil beauty of the forests, lakes and wide skies of their Swedish homeland,” which this work by Ekman is anything but.
Having seen very few of his works either live or on film, this one sealed the deal in terms of Ekman’s brilliance. While too often choreographers know only dance, Ekman clearly has a frame of reference that extends into art, architecture, film, fashion, production design, and all aspects of popular culture. In Contradiction of Silence he integrates his choreography with movement and visuals that work perfectly together to create something truly wacky, beautiful, and super cool. With the rates at which styles of commercial media change, that this ad—which of course also works as a dance film—still holds up as singular five years later is a testimony to its uniqueness and madcap power.
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.