I had a photoshoot with one of the dancers of the Festival Ballet Providence, Eugenia Zinovieva. This was an extension of an idea I had for quite a while where I wanted to photograph the dancers in a different environment than the stage or studio. Eugenia was interested in the idea and approached me to arrange a shoot. I thought it would be interesting to use downtown Providence as the backdrop and use one of the public art pieces that I call the “Steel Donut.” To contrast her soft, flexible, organic body against the hard, edgy, inorganic sculpture, and use the strong lines of the city as accents where appropriate.
Ballerina in Providence
I wanted to shoot near the sunset and Eugenia, and I scouted the area a week before the shoot. She liked the idea and we started shooting close to 7 PM on August 19, 2013 and continued until a little after 8 PM. Eugenia struck some poses, she accommodated my request for special poses where I wanted to create highly angular body shapes, you will see them in the collection. She has a signature pose where she pulls one of her legs from behind over her head, en pointe on the other foot. Towards the end, we worked to get that pose in, and you will see how she moves towards that and then the complete pose. Early on, she struck that pose inside the steel donut, mimicking the angular segments of the sculpture with her knee and elbow.
As I processed the photographs, I shared them with Eugenia, and she chose a collection of her favorites. I finalized editing those and shared them with her. You may see some on Facebook as she decides to share them there. To that collection, I added a few that were not appealing to her from a dance point but attractive to me from a photographic perspective and decided to process them further to augment the incongruity of seeing a ballerina on the streets of Providence. The photographs you will see in this collection are processed to resemble the cross-processed photographs of the film days. Photographers developed, by accident or with deliberate intention, a type of film in developers meant for a different type. Processing color negative film in a slide film developer or Kodachrome in Ectachrome baths would produce unexpected results where colors would shift and look edgy. The wrong appearance of the colors in this collection is intentional and the result of the special processing I applied to them for this result.
Before viewing the photographs, view the short bio of Eugenia, an excellent dancer and equally good photography model willing to try different things. Thank you, Eugenia, for a great photoshoot.
Meet Eugenia Zinovieva
Eugenia was born in Moscow, Russia, and moved to the US at an early age. She began her training at the Boston Ballet School, where she studied for eight years. Her education was completed at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Ethan Stiefel. She then spent a year training semi-privately with Sara Knight before coming to Festival Ballet Providence in 2012. In her first year at FBP, Eugenia had the honor of dancing roles such as the Fairy of Generosity in The Sleeping Beauty and the Flames of Paris pas de deux, in addition to many other classical and contemporary works. She has attended summer programs at Boston Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, and the Academie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monaco.