It’s hard to overestimate the importance of a good photographic dance image!
I’ve looked at hundreds of dance photos over the years . Some good, many bad, and a few great. The great ones are fascinating.
As a child, I was given a book with many photos of the great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. I poured over those evocative images, taking in every detail, as if I could make the images come to life by simply staring at them. I was fascinated by the lines of Pavlova’s body, her pointe, and her gorgeous costumes.
Just what makes a powerful photographic image? Is it the charisma of the artist or the talent of the photographer? Or both?
How do you capture in two dimensions, the intensity, sight, emotions and sound of a live performance? Maybe it’s never captured, but only conveyed. Yet, if the photographic image is strong enough, it will be thrilling each time it is viewed.
Some photographers work primarily in their studios, where they can control the lighting and the variables. Lois Greenfield’s photos come to mind. Like many of her pictures, the photo above is a uniquely photographic event. It only exists for a 500th of a second. Without the help of her sophisticated camera and knowing eye, we would miss this glorious moment. Greenfield’s captivating photos helped to broaden audiences for dance.
The maxim that “Sex sells” is nothing new. Most importantly, images of scantily clad beautiful bodies are irresistible eye candy, from generation to generation.
Following are a series from past SUMMERDANCE events, photos taken by David Bazemore during SUMMERDANCE/DANCEWORKS performances. Do I make my point?
Perhaps my favorite images are those of exuberant dancers just doing the thing they love best. Below is a studio shot of Tamango that will always call me back.