New York City Ballet and Puma Partner Up
Ever since Under Armour used Misty Copeland in their “I Will What I Want” campaign, public perceptions of ballerinas has started to change from the image of waif-like girls to young men and women with powerful, lean bodies. Ballerinas are the new star athletes, and as such, have started to gain attention from major activewear companies.
One such company is Puma, who has recently been announced as the New York City Ballet’s official activewear partner. As such, Puma will dress the company’s 92 dancers, from those in the corps de ballet to the principal dancers, in rehearsal attire. The dancers will then be featured in Puma’s digital and print ad campaigns, featuring the dancers as athletes rather than strictly performance artists.
The ads will feature New York City Ballet’s soloist Savannah Lowery along with corps de ballet dancers Unity Phelan, Mimi Staker, Meagan Mann and Olivia Boisson in their Lincoln Center rehearsal space. The dancers will be dressed in both Puma’s athletic clothing and traditional ballet rehearsal attire such as practice tutus.
The ads fit with NYCB’s practice of promoting young dancers to principal roles surprisingly early in their careers. The young women featured in the ads are all considered up-and-coming ballerinas, and are not the company’s most famed or established dancers.
In an interview with WWD, Adam Petrick, Puma’s global director of brand and marketing, said, “Overall our approach in working with NYCB is to uplift younger dancers, younger creators and choreographers and our goal is to support the artists of tomorrow, really help to train the company of tomorrow. We are very interested in who has new fresh ideas.”
Puma is helping spur creativity and new ideas at the NYCB by breaking tradition with rehearsal clothing. Their “DryCell” fabrics are much more modern and technologically advanced than the standard spandex leotards and nylon tights that are essentially the uniforms of dance rehearsals.
Petrick sees the dancers as a unique combination of artist and athlete, saying that they “work their bodies and exercise control, and respect their bodies as their instrument—that’s a very worthy and noble pursuit and also ties into the idea of creativity and self-expression. Those are the dominant ideas of our time—a dancer exemplifies both of those things.”