"Dancing is like dreaming with your feet."
When Jenny Miller, the owner of Rhythm & Motion Dance Center, reached out to us this past May to photograph their recital, we were so impressed with the maturity, passion and poise the dancers displayed. Their professionalism and joy inspired us to shoot a studio session with the Rhythm and Motion's Advanced Pointe students. We were ecstatic to partner with her dancers once more.
When we began discussing our vision for this session, our inspiration began with the Constanze Mozart quote, "Dancing is like dreaming with your feet." The images that dancing and dreaming brought to mind were beautifully celestial. We started talking about the use of clouds and sky scenes which led to our second source of inspiration: the art of Michael Parke.
His ethereal paintings of dancers, lovers and circus performers mirrored our own imagined pictures for the shoot. The symmetry between earth and sky in the images with the dancers balanced somewhere in between was the perfect image of a dream-like state. Parke's art seems to focus on that sense of balance which is so important to ballet and Pointe dancers; thus balance became a focus of our session.
We made the props ourselves. The stars and moon were cut from a cardboard refrigerator box and painted silver. The floating clouds were crafted from paper lanterns and quilt batting. In a few of the photographs we have the dancers standing on clouds which were created by applying the paper lanterns and batting to an old sewing machine. The clouds, moon, and stars were suspended from a scaffolding which we edited out We had the opportunity to create stunning photographs that incorporated some digital art aspects as well.
Photographing these dancers was such a unique experience. The blend between creative styling and posing, the flexibility and balance of the subjects, and the art of photography is pure magic in this photo shoot. Jenny choreographed and costumed the girls for this shoot. She had such a clear vision for what we were trying to accomplish and she helped to create several visually compelling shots.
The other aspect that made this session uniquely enjoyable was the personality and input of the dancers themselves. They began to add their own style and flair to the pictures. Some introduced leaps or splits to their poses, The dancers utilized their flexibility and strength to transform each pose into a piece of art. The girls' unique personalities are clearly defined, not only in their individual shoots but in the group photos as well.
Overall, this was such a unique and wonderful experience for us. Photographing dancers, is a bit like dreaming too.
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