Front Porch Dancers @ Belhaven College (9.13.09)
dancers fascinate me.
the way that they turn their bodies into a form of art that’s always moving and each movement has a purpose.
i just think it’s wonderful
the theme that they asked of the photographers they invited was to show work that showed music and/or dance.
after the art opening there would be a dance performance by the Front Porch Dancers, dancing to live music by Jamie Weems and the Strange Pilgrams.
as i’ve mentioned before, i’m a big fan of Annie Leibovitz‘s work, esp the work she did when she documented three weeks with Mark Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov, photographing them and their dancers as they worked to constuct a new show.
i wanted to do photos like that. so i contacted Krista and Erin of FPD and asked if it would be possible if i photographed them rehearsing for the performance.
they said sure and after facebooking back and forth for a bit, we finally settled on a day.
when i had the idea to shoot them while rehearsing, i also knew two things
it was going to be black and white
and i was going to shoot them with film, using two different cameras.
the first was my Holga, which i used to shoot them outside with. (which ended up being the shots i used for the show. but if you wanna see those, you should have been at the show) 😉
and the second, was with my “ole workhorse”, the camera that i learned how to shoot with, my Canon AE-1 Program
all the shots for this post are from the Canon, after we moved inside to one of the dance studios
for the photographers out there, i used 4 rolls of Ilford HP5 400 film, shooting wide open with a 50mm at f/1.8 at 1/60 for my shutter speed
for one of the 4 rolls, i switched out my 50mm lens and shot a roll using a wide-angle 28mm
i was still shooting wide open, but the 28mm only opens up to f/2.8
which you can kinda tell, but i really enjoyed shooting wide
i don’t know, i kinda wished i’d shot more with the 28mm
(man, those ladies are strong)
shooting with the 28mm meant more group shots
(hmm, seems the scanner clipped this one…)
(heh, you can see me in the mirror, making the shot)
i could have shot at a higher shutter speed, but the reason why i kept it at 1/60 is because i wanted there to be some movement in the photos
it was really interesting watching them dance and rehearse
seeing how they all worked together to get the motions just right
it really is a unique art form
it lives in the moment
and after it’s done, there’s nothing left behind, but the memory of it
because, unless you video taped it, that moments will never happen again
(hmm, i really don’t know why the scanner clipped some and not the others…)
but even video taping it isn’t the same as seeing it live
i think that’s why dance is so hard to photograph
and i don’t mean hard in the technical sense of film speeds, shutter speeds, and lens
but hard as in, well, like Annie Leibovitz said:
“I begin to understand that dance can’t be photographed, or even filmed for that matter, it’s an art that lives in the air”
dance is motion, that energy of movement
photography is capturing a moment that you see and you want to share with others
those can end up being two very conflicting principals
but it’s still worth doing
because sometimes you catch true moments in the midst of movement
which, i guess, is true of all photography
so, maybe dance and photography aren’t conflicting at all 🙂
(quick breather before getting back to it)
(i really love this shot)
it was really cool, watching them work together
because even though each one had their own way of moving
they used that to make something more than the sum of its parts
it really was a treat watching it all start to come together
i’m the guy that loves getting DVDs just to listen to the behind the scenes commentary
i love seeing how other creative people put their projects together
love seeing how their minds work
i just find it really fascinating
i really have to thank the ladies for letting me photograph them
it couldn’t have been easy
having somebody shooting you while trying to figure out whole new dance choreography
so, many thanks ladies
it was really great seeing the finished product at the show 🙂
dancers fascinate me.
that’ll wrap it up for this week.
make sure you check out the Front Porch Dancers website!
and, if any of you Front Porch ladies are reading this, i’d love to get together and shoot ya’ll again one day 🙂
next week, a peek behind the music with the Girls in The Band 😉
have a good one everybody
EDIT: if you want to see a video of one of the dance numbers at the show, click here 🙂