An unrepentant portraitist, Sunday afternoon in studio, trying out new gear with dancers is complete heaven. Time and schedule dictated broad brush lighting setups. But like dancers, if I don’t rehearse, the performance will suffer. To make this, a strobe was boomed overhead, fitted with a homemade “globe”. She held a small reflector to partly open neck shadows and a gridded strobe on the background provided some separation. With more time, I’d change back light position but testing the “globe” was accomplished. I wanted to make light as elegant and lovely as she is.
Student in Master Class with Justin Allen at Cary Ballet Conservatory 27 September 2015
Photographing a studio class is dramatically different than a theater. Theaters have visual drama with a proscenium and stage lighting. Studios have windows to parking lots and industrial lighting. Visually, it’s the difference between Notre Dame and Costco. But in studio, in class, is where I began to understand the work ethic of dancers and understand it is where their work is done and dancers are made. It is extraordinary.
Crossing the threshold of a studio, with barre and mirror, something does happen akin to entering a theater. The play is the thing and all else is left outside. There is a common experience because regardless of ability, class is a constant in a dancers life. Theater discipline applies because class is also a performance. And why I’m there.