The Washington Post

Taking you for a ride: Dancers jazz up new Silver Line ad, and the universe reels

In its previous ads, the Silver Line promised to improve our sex life, liven up the family and get us a better job.

Now, it’s going to whisk us straight to paradise. You know, that Bollywood crowd-of-strangers-dancing-in-the-marketplace kind of paradise. With a Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra “On the Town” kind of cool. If you can hear what the dancers in this adorable ad are telling you–and who can’t?–Metro’s newest line, set to open tomorrow, is your railway to heaven.

The ad is not only enchanting, it sees into our restless, gridlocked souls. See, we’re all escapees at heart, as we’re reminded by the ad’s irresistible song, ”Escapee,” by the indie band Architecture in Helsinki. We want to toss away our car keys like that guy in khakis, who shimmies out of his driveway and onto the sidewalk to join the funky parade to the Metro station. 

We yearn to dubstep out the door with our backpacks, or better yet, to backflip out the window, unencumbered by commuter coffee cups and parking woes.

If you look closely, you’ll find the formerly downtrodden Donna among the dancers. She was the college-grad copy-maker from this earlier Silver Line ad:

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley…ding, ding, ding went the…wait, wrong musical. This Silver Line ad puts all these crazy thoughts in my head. Like this one: Hey, riding the subway could be fun! 

But this is where the ad turns evil. I know, I know; I love it, too. But beware. It wants to rearrange your brain cells. Consider the ending, when the happily grooving crowd streams onto the train. A straggler runs along the platform to get on with them, but the doors close in his face. (This may be a new rail line, but it’s the same ol’ Metro.) Stranded and alone as the train pulls away, what does he do? A jaunty jive

The Silver Line waits for no man.

But how could you possibly complain?

 READ MORE: Quiz: Test your Silver Line knowledge What’s along the Silver Line Silver Line ‘is ready for its close-up’

Sarah L. Kaufman received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. She is the author of THE ART OF GRACE: On Moving Well Through Life. She has been The Washington Post's dance critic since 1996, and what moves her most is seeing grace happen where she least expects it. Learn more at and Facebook SarahLKaufmanWriter



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Emily Yahr · July 25, 2014