Julidans is the International Festival for Contemporary Dance, held annually in July in seven different theatres in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Because it's contemporary dance, the look and feel has to be contemporary too. So every year, Julidans looks for a different lead image. This has to be attractive and eye-catching, but also has to represent the festival's values and missions. It's a challenge.
This was a breakaway from previous campaigns. The main focus was the concept of 'Julidans is freedom'.
In other words, it is not Swan Lake; there are no rules to be followed in contemporary dance.
I developed a surrealistic scene with a pair of dancers in motion (the flowers) escaping, breaking chains, breaking rules, being free.
I made the piece on my own, welding the chains and holding the flowers with fishing line. Then it turned from a beautiful sculpture into this photograph.
In 2013 we looked for a new image, different from the previous one, but with the same soul. One sentence to describe the festival is: 'Julidans: you either love it or you hate it'. It was the starting point of the campaign.
I set out to represent the love and the pain in a powerful and coloured image, something that makes you feel when you look at it.
It was a success on the street because the campaign shone over the others, and it was also easily recognizable and easy to associate with Julidans.
Again, I made the piece myself. I used fresh clay to shape the heart, and before it was totally dried, I filled it with dozens of needles. It was so hard to resist with the needles, and it quickly got out of hand!
A new challenge this time. According with the festival programme for this season, the concept was: 'Expressions with the Body'.
We are used to looking at thousands of images of bodies in motion. The real challenge was to make the body express feelings.
What happens if the body breaks out and starts growing a thorny flower? It was a different way to catch the public's attention.
You can see more of my work at: www.josellopis.com.
Words: Jose Llopis
Jose Llopis is a Spanish designer living in Salzburg, in the Austrian alps.