Be a Merce.
As a marketer, you can go along and live by the same “marketing rules” as your competitors. Or you can pull a Merce Cunningham.
Cunningham, the avant-garde dancer and choreographer, revolutionized modern dance by creating works of pure movement divorced from storytelling and even music. He died Monday at age 90.
Until Cunningham and Martha Graham came onto the scene, the paradigm for dance was pretty much the Balanchine model—tightly choreographed neo-classical pieces set in tight rhythm to the music with interchangeable dancers serving as visual storytellers. Cunningham changed everything: his focus was on the raw emotion of dance, and his choreography shattered dance’s unwritten rules, such as having dancers always facing the audience or moving in syncopated rhythms. It is said he would toss a coin to determine steps, and even had his dancers perform to music they had never even heard before.
As unnerving as his choreography was at the time, it forced audiences to rethink their definitions of dance. It polarized people. It repulsed some people. And it inspired some people.
It was visceral. It made people feel something.
And in the end, Cunningham inspired several generations of choreographers and made modern dance as approachable in Harlem as it was in upper crust Manhattan.
The point here is to emphasize that, while it’s never “acceptable” to break the rules, sometimes you have no choice but to break the rules. Don’t let a paradigm come between you and your Brand Vision. Don’t let your category define customer service, find a way to define it for yourself.
Here’s an excellent two-minute example of how Cunningham used movement to create form. It ain’t your little sister’s ballet class.
Posted by Mickey
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