NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Martha Graham Dance Company, "one of the greatest dance companies in the world" (The New York Times), announces today that two veteran Principal Dancers, Tadej Brdnik and Katherine Crockett, soar over Times Square, featured on billboards that are part of the GNC's new brand campaign, "Respect Yourself." Conceived and photographed by Peter Arnell for GNC, the "Respect Yourself" campaign celebrates individuals who live well by leading healthy lifestyles. The Martha Graham Dance Company was identified as one of the best expressions to GNC's commitment to health and fitness. Today, dance as a form of exercise is more popular than ever as evidenced by the proliferation of activities such as Zumba and barre classes, ballroom dancing, TV shows like "Dancing With The Stars" and "Dance Moms" and dance competitions around the country, so the talent, discipline and fitness displayed by the Martha Graham Dance Company dancers are highly aspirational to both the GNC customer and consumers at large.
"At GNC, we view dancers as elite 'athletes' who can inspire our consumers to live the best lives they can lead in terms of health and fitness," said Joe Fortunato, Chairman and CEO of GNC. "Our consumer is very lifestyle-focused, and this component of our 'Respect Yourself' campaign is a concrete demonstration and integral component of GNC's mission in helping consumers live their best lives. Working with the Martha Graham Dance Company has enabled us to celebrate and support the arts as well as the physical achievements made by the dancers through their own commitments to fitness and health."
"Between GNC's celebration of health and wellness and the Graham Company's commitment to the extraordinary art and physical discipline we know as dance, it was a great time to celebrate individuals of such stature in the dance world," said Arnell.
The Martha Graham Dance Company worked directly with Arnell and his team of highly acclaimed artists and technical producers to shoot and film the campaign in late 2012. Six Graham Company dancers are featured in the multimedia campaign, which includes network and cable broadcast, outdoor spectaculars, national print, and digital.
"We're delighted to have the Martha Graham dancers and her iconic moves incorporated into in this elegant and powerful national campaign," says Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Center. "It's more evidence that Martha's revolutionary discoveries about what the body can express are now classic, and evocative and meaningful in any medium."
A short dance film directed by Arnell will also be unveiled as part of the "Respect Yourself" campaign during the Martha Graham Dance Company's New York Season, February 20 - March 3, 2013. The short film captures the current dancers practicing, juxtaposed with the insight into the brilliance of the dance company as seen through the eyes of Martha Graham, whose legacy of innovation the Graham Company carries forward today.
The partnership between GNC and the Martha Graham Dance Company is a welcome example of a corporation supporting the arts and culture. It provides a model for innovative collaboration between the private and nonprofit sectors that is based on mutual respect and shared values.
"Being featured in GNC's 'Respect Yourself' campaign provides the Martha Graham Dance Company with unique visibility and introductions to new audiences that would be difficult to access without a partner like GNC," says Meghan Hewit McCormick, who directs development and partnership initiatives at the Martha Graham Center. "We're incredibly grateful to Peter Arnell and GNC for inviting the Company to be part of this campaign."
About Martha Graham Dance Company
The Martha Graham Dance Company has been a world leader in the development of contemporary dance since its founding in 1926. Informed by the expansive vision of its pioneering founder, the Company has served as an unparalleled resource in expanding contemporary dance's vocabulary and nurturing many of the leading choreographers and dancers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, the Company has earned acclaim from audiences in more than fifty countries. Today, the Company continues to foster Graham's spirit of ingenuity, embracing a new vision that showcases classics by Graham, her contemporaries and their successors, alongside newly commissioned works. The Company is actively working to create new platforms for contemporary dance and multiple points of access for audiences.
GNC Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GNC."
As of December 31, 2012, GNC has more than 8,100 locations, of which more than 6,100 retail locations are in the United States (including 949 franchise and 2,181 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 54 countries (including distribution centers where retail sales are made). The Company – which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well – has a diversified, multi-channel business model and derives revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships. GNC's broad and deep product mix, which is focused on high-margin, premium, value-added nutritional products, is sold under GNC proprietary brands, including Mega Men®, Ultra Mega®, Total Lean™, Pro Performance®, Pro Performance® AMP, Beyond Raw®, and under nationally recognized third party brands.