Hong Kong Ballet Fuses Classical Dance With Modern Vibes

Movement as a universal language

Ballet comes to vibrant life—even for space aliens—in an odd, compelling campaign from Hong Kong Ballet. 

A visual and auditory feast, "Tutu Academy" commemorates 45 years of the company's existence—and the launch of its first-ever conservatory program. 

The film blurs French Impressionism, classical and modern dance, pop and hip-hop music and fashion through the ages. The result: a "tutu takeover" at landmarks across the island with dancers sporting koi fish-inspired hairdos, punk rockers on pointe, a gold-toothed Martian and more. 

Design Army spun the creative, seeking to spread the "crazy joy of dance" while staying true to Hong Kong's culture and heritage.

The creative draws inspiration from French Impressionist Edgar Degas and his ballet portraits. "We playfully wondered what the artist's work would look like if we brought it to life today," says Pum Lefebure, agency co-founder and chief creative officer.

"The result is a story popping with the painter's gorgeous coral hues mixed with Hong Kong's heritage red—all juxtaposed with vivid shades of juicy jade, like the head-toe painted alien, that explode with extraterrestrial contrast. It's a crazy mix of classic-meets-current!"

"Tutu Academy" lives on the ballet company's website and social channels, with print and billboards also in the mix for Hong Kong and beyond.

Design Army collaborated with director Dean Alexander and Hong Kong Ballet artistic director Septime Webre to create a new piece of dance-on-film, one which they hope will have staying power.

"In past campaigns, Hong Kong Ballet was building connectivity to Hong Kong—celebrating the sheer beauty of our city, its culture and colorful street life," says Webre.

"This campaign is different as it skyrockets us into the universe at large. And it's the perfect reflection of Hong Kong Ballet as a classical company with modern sensibilities--Tutu Academy pays tribute to our classical roots while cheekily positioning the company squarely in today's world."

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