Sunday 19 December 2021

The Dancing Advertisements: Do they benefit the arts? - Soch: Column by Dr. Arshiya Sethi

Let me begin by wishing you a very Happy New Year. I hope and pray that this year sees us escape this fast-mutating virus, at the earliest. Apart from this being by far the most common desire on earth, it is not unrealistic to wish for it in January. January is a month named after the Roman God Janus. Janus is the God of new beginnings, gates, transmissions, passages, and even endings. Because he can look at what has gone by and also what is yet to come, he is often depicted with two faces, each looking antipodally.

Exactly this feature, of looking at the back and the front at the same time allows me a segue into what I wanted to write about. Advertisements. Particularly those that have used dance and dance moves. Those that have used well known dances consciously, those that have used well known dancers, sometimes as dancers and sometimes as very animated actors, those that have used dance and dancers only as mise-en-scene, and those that have used dance moves to suggest mood and 'masti'. Then there are those which have used the image of great artistes to popularize awards in their names. For example, The Hindu runs the M.S Subbulakshmi Award, and uses her photograph. That sort of promotion is outside the purview of this article. I am looking at commercial advertisements, particularly those using dance.

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1 comment:

  1. This article makes makes very interesting reading. a New thought explored. Honestly these advertisements do not help the art at all. But the artists get get paid well. In our case we need that extra income keep our art going well. Classical art performances earn minimal or negligible remuneration these days and young professionals have to spend from their pocket to perform as far as Bharatanaatyam is concerned. I don't know about other arts field. As far as we are concerned the experience of appearing in an admt is a different experience and definitely great exposure
    After Vodafone we did couple of more advertisement films & more and more invitations started pouring in. We are a bit choosy now. Latest, a jewellery admt used a bit of nritta (dance) where Shanta danced along with vibrant young artist Rukmini vjayakumar. That may not help the art.