Puma Dance Dictionary does Hamlet

Last summer, we reported on the Puma Dance Dictionary, a website that translates messages into dance sequences that can then be mailed to friends. In a new iteration of the campaign, agency Grey London has filmed a dance version of a classic speech from Hamlet….

Last summer, we reported on the Puma Dance Dictionary, a website that translates messages into dance sequences that can then be mailed to friends. In a new iteration of the campaign, agency Grey London has filmed a dance version of a classic speech from Hamlet….

The film, shown below, sees freestylers including Storyboard P, King Charles, Pac Man and Worm interpret the ‘Nunnery Scene’ from Hamlet through the medium of dance. The movements are designed by LA choreographer Super Dave, who worked on the original Puma Dance Dictionary project.

As well as being a fun way to present a classic text, the hope is that the film will provide a way of inspiring and interesting young people who might previously have been turned off by the idea of Shakespeare. According to Grey London’s CCO Nils Leonard, it was prompted by responses to the initial version of the Puma Dance Dictionary. “We had messages from people all over the world,” he says, “saying ‘dance is really interesting, would you mind if we used this to teach our kids?'”

This educational aspect of the campaign is given further weight by an additional film that sees UCL Professor of English John Mullan discuss the merits of dance as a means for young people to get into literature alongside DJ and ‘youth culture expert’ MistaJam. “I don’t think a dictionary of dance reduces the power of the written or spoken word,” says Mullan in the film, shown below. “On the contrary, I think it heightens the power of words. It could be a way of getting young people who are less naturally drawn to words and their complexities, or less confident with language, to really appreciate the power of words.”

Leonard hopes that there may be further extensions of the idea in the future, with Puma possibly hosting dance-based workshops in schools.

Credits:
Agency: Grey London
CCO: Nils Leonard
Creative director: Andy Lockley
Creatives: Matt Newman, Nils Leonard
Designers: Ryan Connolly, Chris Chapman
Production company: Somesuch & Co
Director: Daniel Wolfe
Post: Hogarth/Framestore

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