lords of the dance

Convinced that many men go to the ballet only when cajoled, begged or threatened, the Vail International Dance Festival appears to be embracing a can’t-miss strategy for wooing Joe Sixpack.

Yes, it is using sex and sports.

Created by Denver agency Barnhart/CMI, new print ads promoting the Aug. 3-12 festival in Vail, Colo., stress the athletic prowess of the dancers. Creatives at the shop say the well-toned naked bodies used in the ads “show the musculature” of the dancers. And lest anyone think ballet dancers aren’t jocks, the ads also draw a distinct comparison.

In one, a female dancer in her birthday suit is seen from behind in a classic ballet pose. Her rear end is covered with a copy box that contains the text, “It’s not like football or basketball. Their season ends.”

Jeff Martin of Barnhart said the creative team of Kelly Wright and Susan Plog was not simply trying to fill seats with eyebrow-raising work. He said they were trying to “combat the lack of respect” dancers often face.