Several years back, I photographed Greta Hodginkson, a Providence-born dancer during the season-opening program of the Festival Ballet Providence. Her piece, Disarmed was a highly dynamic performance during which she owned the stage moving from point to point.
A collection of photographs from that program has just been published in the International Lens Magazine issue #47 with a special theme: Dance. I am very pleased to be included in this issue with other talented photographers, especially Lois Greenfield whose work I enjoy and admire. The photographs are below as they appeared on the pages of the Lens Magazine. I will share the text here as it will be easier to read than on the small images. You can order a print copy or download a PDF version from MagCloud if you like.
About Photography and Dance
Photography and dance seem to be at two ends of the spectrum in art. Dance has no permanence, it lives and dies in real-time. It is a series of fleeting moments. Photography, on the other hand, lives after it freezes time, no matter how short a period or how long it may stretch. Photographing dance has always given me the impression that the two art forms are like the yin and yang, they complement and complete the other. Dance cannot live over time without photography and photography cannot stretch time, at least not as long as dance can.
This collection is the result of yin meeting yang in an embrace of two art forms.
Dance is art in motion! Dancers move and move extremely well. Through the control of their bodies, muscles, and emotions they delight and amaze all. I have photographed many ballet dancers, performances, events and have found the experience challenging, exciting, and rewarding.
If given the choice, almost all the dancers prefer to see their photographs in the style of “frozen in amber,” the perfect positions they hold for a tiny fraction of the entire performance. The rest of the time they move from one point to the next, from one perfect position to another with grace, elegance, and feeling. Capturing that movement interests and excites me as I have done on more than one occasion. The resulting photographs are charged with energy and motion.
During a live performance of Disarmed by Greta Hodgkinson to the music of Philip Glass, Metamorphosis IV, after photographing a few stationary moments I decided to use slow shutter speeds and let the images emerge filled with her movements. I welcomed the element of chance inherent in this approach, allowing her to fill the stage and the frame with her motions and emotions.
Each photograph carries all her movements in that extended time-compressed in a single frame. I call them time compressions. Her feet, firmly grounded on stage, she appears in multiple places and even manages to be laying down and standing up in the same frame.
Now, if you can find it, tune to Metamorphosis IV by Phillip Glass as you view these photographs.
You can see an earlier post with more photographs and a slideshow set to the music.