It's Sunday, which means it's time to zen out, especially with the craziness of Thanksgiving just around the corner. And what better way to do so than watching a beautiful dance video? Dance photographer Karolina Kuras, who photographs the National Ballet of Canada, was recently profiled by Cottage Hill Magazine, covering everything from her photography career, her background in dance and how she gets the perfect shot every time. Check out the lovely video below, and catch the full feature here!
Dance and photography go together like peanut butter and jelly: Each brings out some of the best elements in the other. We love a good studio portrait, demonstrating perfect placement, or a stunning performance photo that makes onstage magic feel up close and personal.
But we're also loving the new trend of dreamy, almost carefree dance photos. Think Insta-famous photographer Kenneth Edwards and his lovely images of ballerinas mid-pirouette, or floating down from a jump (btw, if you like his photos, you'll LOVE our September issue...).
So, who better to confirm that something in the dance world is officially cool than New York City Ballet? The marketing photos shot for the company's 2016–2017 season are rustic, elegant and simple. Legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh played with the natural lighting and stunning outdoor space of the location—a country house in upstate New York—to frame the dancers' relaxed movement in an equally natural environment.
It's a far cry from the severity and silhouettes of many Balanchine ballets the company is known for, but it's also beautiful and on-trend. You can view the whole slideshow here.
OK you guys, I'm officially obsessed. This #empty trend on Instagram is absolutely captivating and when top 'grammers turn their lenses toward the world's most beautiful buildings—well, I die.
POB dancers in rehearsal (photo by @hannahrw)
It feels like it was just yesterday that I was freaking out over #emptyROH. Now, thank the interwebz for #emptygarnier. That's right, the most magical ballet palace on the planet opened its doors to a lucky group of 'grammers whose unique snaps and captures really show the different ways you can look at a place. Thanks also to the Paris Opéra Ballet's Insta-savvy new artistic director, Benjamin Millepied. He's going full-speed ahead when it comes to shaking things up at the POB—he's confidently mixing the old with the new. Civilian smart-phone artists to document an institution steeped in tradition and prestige? Why the heck not?!
IS THIS A REAL PLACE?! (Photo by @wonguy974)
And whether they're tricky perspective shots, soaring views from the roof or intimate close-ups of tiny Palais Garnier details, each photo is a testament to the beauty of sharing our art with others, whether it's dance, photography or something else entirely.
Dancers are some of the greatest photographic subjects around (for obvious reasons). They know their bodies, how to pose and captivate audiences—all of which translate into consistently stunning images. But Nir Arieli's photo series, "Flocks," showcases some of our favorite dance companies in a completely new context: without motion.
Arieli has been photographing a number of world-class companies for two years. The dancers are posed in motionless formations that, while aren't showing any movement, are still 100% dancey—not to mention stunning. Arieli told Slate that he wanted to show "what happens after the movement is over or when the movement is drained from the body. You get an intimate moment about this special group of people who spend so much time together...They’re very physical with each other...there are very interesting relationships formed with these people, and I hope this project is speaking about that in a visual way.” Below are some of our favorites, but be sure to check out the entire feature here!
(Now-disbanded) Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (Photo by Nir Arieli, via Slate)
The Martha Graham Dance Company. (Photo by Nir Arieli, via Slate)
Ailey II members. (Photo by Nir Arieli, via Slate)
Is there anything more exciting than peeking into the private world of your dance idols? Nope, I don't think there is. That's why we love these gorgeous photos by Barbara Anastacio for AnOther magazine, which capture the messy elegance of New York City Ballet dancers' traveling cases.
A photo posted by AnOther Magazine (@anothermagazine) on
The accompanying interview clues us in on the way the NYCB ladies choose to decorate or pack their home-away-from-home. It's lovely and intimate to hear about the special notes and photos they carry, and, of course, always worthwhile to take notes about their pro tricks. An accupressure mat?! Who knew?
Enjoy the full spread here.
Photographer Aaron Pegg is already Insta-famous as @underground_nyc, where he snaps artsy photos of people throughout the NYC subway system. Over the weekend, he revealed that ballerinas are his favorite photography subjects.
The New York Post interviewed Pegg and rounded up some of his best ballet pics—and we are drooling over the gorgeous poses and stunning lines. And it doesn’t hurt that his #flawless subjects frequently include Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alison Stroming, Ingrid Silva and Nayara Lopes, American Ballet Theatre’s Elina Miettinen and Boston Ballet soloist Rachele Buriassi.
Of his dance subway shots Pegg says to the New York Post, “It’s such a great contrast between two art forms—the gritty subway with the elegance of ballet. I love working with ballerinas because they’re perfectionists. They make you want to be a perfectionist as well.”
Scroll through our favorites below for some serious #MondayMotivation and check out the original Post piece here.
Dance Theatre of Harlem's Nayara Lopes, Alison Stroming and Ingrid Silva. (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Olivia L. Burgess (screenshot via underground_nyc)
Dancer Ingrid Silva at Central Park (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Boston Ballet soloist Rachele Buriassi (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Kelly Kakaley (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
American Ballet Theatre dancer Elina Miettinen (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Alison Stroming (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Brittany Cavaco (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Rachele Buriassi (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Ingrid Silva (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Just as I was talking about all the awesome choreographers and filmmakers out there, teaming up to create dance films, the internet went and proved me right. Dancer, photographer and filmmaker Quinn Wharton's latest project—an experimental short called RUN—is another cool addition to the genre.
Frances Chung and Dores André in RUN
Not only is the film edgy, but it also features the ultra-glamorous Frances Chung, who's a principal with San Francisco Ballet (and one of my favorite ballerinas!). She dances a slightly creepy contemporary duet with SFB soloist Dores André, where the two women seem to switch places, emerging and disappearing into the earth.
We've been long-time fans of Wharton's stunning photography, and it's exciting to see him venture into dance-film territory. We can't wait to see what's next!
You guys know we love it when fashion and dance collide—it usually produces a photo shoot from our wildest dreams. (I still can't get over the Natalia Vodianova and Benjamin Millepied shoot for Vogue magazine.)
Wendy Whelan (photo by David Michalek for Vanity Fair magazine)
Vanity Fair, which has a long history of celebrating dance, created a slideshow of dance photographs from their archives, spanning from the 1930s to now.
The images offer a counterpoint to other archival photo roundups, which often feature either performance photos or behind-the-scenes shots. While we love seeing amazing feats of physicality, and getting to peek backstage or into the studio, fashion photographers bring a fresh eye to the whole process of photographing dancers—their images are both staged and spontaneous.
Sure, some of these photos are a little bit cheesy (the 1980s happened, after all), but where else would we get an image of renowned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon dancing barefoot in a field, holding a parasol? I'll let you click through and find that one for yourself!