Puma’s Dance Dictionary infuses the monologue of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with a street dance spirit

To bridge the gap between the younger generation and literature classics, PUMA interprets the Nunnery Scene from Shakespeare’s Hamlet with street dance moves. The piece is part of the “Puma Dance Dictionary” project by Grey London and filmmaker Daniel Wolfe, launched in 2013 to prove that the language of moves can render the meaning of traditional words.

Puma Dance Dictionary presents ‘A Classic’ from Grey London on Vimeo.

Designed as an alternative messaging system for teenagers and young adults, Puma Dance Dictionary allows to encrypt any phrase, sentence or a longer text using unique contemporary dance moves. This system works well with standard phrases of today, and a team of street dancers ventured to discover if it fitted into the literature style from the earlier times, the 16th century.

Freestylers Storyboard P, King Charles, Pac Man and Worm collaborated again with LA Choreographer Super Dave to visualize each word from Hamlet’s iconic speech, “To be or not to be” in the “Classic” spot (watch it above). As the video shows, the language of dance is good for all times and cultures.

Contemporary choreography can boost younger people’s interest towards the literature gemstones by making them more relevant and engaging for the teenage audience. Through dance they can feel the emotions and re-discover the wisdoms of the literature pieces that may seem quite boring in the traditional text format.

“I don’t think a dictionary of dance reduces the power of the written or spoken word on the contrary, I think it heightens the power of words,” commented University College London’s Professor of English Literature, John Mullan. “It could be a way of getting young people who are less naturally drawn to words and their complexities or less confident with language to really appreciate the power of words.”

The “Dance Dictionary” project and its latest installment is launched to promote Puma Fragrances.