Los Angeles

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ballet Gone Bad at The Gap

These ads.  Gap what were you thinking?  It's things like this that make me yearn for the days when ballet wasn't popular.  The boy was giving me a hard time the other day when I was criticizing a Gap window in Beverly Hills, "no one cares if that position is good or bad."  He said.

And it really got my goat, because it's more than that.  The model, San Francisco Ballet principle Yuan Yuan Tan, is in the weirdest and un-pretty position imaginable.  There must have been something better to choose from.  Why is she holding her leg like that?  I am sure she hit all kinds of beautiful poses that could have been used.  Why this one?  Not only is it not all that pretty, it really puts emphasis on the jeans.  Without reading the tagline on the windows, one would think this shot is supposed to emphasize the flexibility of the jeans, right?  Nope.  It's supposed to be about the shirt "raising the barre."  Again, weird.  

Naturally, I had to investigate the campaign to see if there were indeed other images and sure enough their were.  The Gap put together a little "how-to" on 4 different ballet moves/positions, one being the splits which again is so damn cheesy.  There were definitely other shots that look more compelling and more beautiful than Yuan Yuan Tan holding her leg up like it's a sack of potatoes, but again, all of them seemed to make the ad about the jeans being super stretchy and I don't think that was the intent...  


The Gap has always been great about implementing dancers in their ad campaigns; do you remember the swing dancing and the series of dance themed commercials they did in the 90's?  Those were great, and so fun to watch, but they also usually had some sort of purpose - showing the khakis were comfortable enough to swing dance in for example.  And yes, I know that in this current campaign they are highlighting all kinds of artists, singers, musicians and dancers for the purpose of, I guess, just bringing some artistic diversity to the brand, and I think that's swell, honest.  But I still can't help but cringe a bit at the sight of this window shot.  I'm a total ballet snob.  Yes, I know.  

Here's a lovely highlight video of Yuan Yuan Tan, just to give you an idea how superb this long-time principle really is...And further proof that she can hold her leg in alla seconde without the use of her arm....


1 comment:

  1. I wonder how she feels about the shots. Most of them look like they were taken by a photographer who's unfamiliar with dance, you know those awkward inbetween moments. I rather horrified too. Crap, if I danced for SF ballet i'd make sure my standing leg was straight, not rolling and turned out

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