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To promote its CloudTec technology, running brand On worked with choreographers Sasha Waltz and Justin Peck for "Move Like a Human," which drops today.
On hails from the Swiss Alps; in that region, it's sometimes difficult to differentiate where mountains end and the sky begins. CloudTec is the first patented cushioning system that activates only when folks need it: during landing. The idea is to approximate the sensation of running across clouds.
That's a pretty notion, expanded through a series of movements choreographed by Waltz. The moves feel banal and basic, but repetition reminds us of our animal nature. There's a grace and power in flexing one's limbs, in the way a body arcs through space.
We want to move when watching it. Maybe even run.
The ad was shot at Tempelhof in Berlin, where Waltz lives and works. This space says much about the layers of storytelling that make the German city what it is. Tempelhof was one of Berlin's first airports, closed in 2008. Today the 953-acre compound houses a park, attracting runners, dancers and sports teams. As BBC Travel writes, "On any given day, you might see Syrian asylum seekers playing football outside a Nazi-era terminal, bikers cycling under the shadow of an abandoned radar station and families barbecuing next to grounded Cold War-era aeroplanes."
So, it's liminal, a bridge spanning different regions of time, akin to the motions and gestures in dance that set the spirit free, allowing us to maneuver between the Earth and infinity.
"Move Like a Human" introduces On's Movement collection, and features a number of products: The Cloud X 3 Shift, Cloudnova, Cloudnova Form, Cloudswift 3, and the Cloudnova Flux. It builds on "Beyond the Mountain," released several months ago, which featured Peck in a more personal context. It tied his life in movement to the Alps, such that it was sometimes hard to tell which was the metaphor, and which the ad's true subject.
"Move Like a Human" sees Peck melt into a group of dancers. Directed by Luca Homolka, the film also features Celine Celeesi, Ricco-Jarret, Nicholas Isaiah King Rose, Samia Hofmann and more.
Related elements include a Q&A about the deeper significance of movement:
And here's a BTS reel: