I've had something of a love/hate relationship with dance photography if you want to know the truth. I love working with dancers. They are such talented folks who know so much about their bodies and how they look from an audience's point of view, who are so stunningly athletic, and who have an enduring commitment to making art. At the same time, I have struggled to find what I think of as a visual vocabulary for my work with dancers. What do I add to the endeavor past documenting their performances? Where is my creative influence in the work?
A couple of weeks ago, I feel like I moved a bit closer to answering that question. I had a chance to work with a very talented model and classically-trained ballet dancer - Vik Tory. I have admired her work for some time and when I saw that she would be traveling to DC (she lives in New York), I jumped at the chance to work with her. Not only is Vik a dancer, she is also a nude figure model and I had anticipated that most of our session would be figure work. I was especially especially looking forward to working with Vik on some images to add to the Shadow Series thinking that her dance training would make her a natural for that project. It did and we got some striking shadow images as well as some beautiful nudes but we both got really excited when Vik put on a leotard with an attached filmy skirt and we began to play with the transparency of the fabric against a brightly-lit white wall. My timing was good that day and we were able to capture what I find to be some enthralling images. Fabric helps to translate the motion of dance to the still image and Vik's clear talent is obvious as well. We also played with including some of the studio environment in the images. While I love the almost ethereal light of the cyclorama wall and the isolation of the figure in that space, the studio environment added interest and fun. I was thinking of the work of Sam Haskins a photographer whose work I've enjoyed for a long time, when I thought to move some of the studio equipment into the frame.
I've shared a couple of images from our shoot here and I'll update again when I add more to the website. And never fear . . . Vik and I both agreed we want to work together again as soon as we can.