A contemporary, jazz, and ballet dancer, Lee Gumbs is known for his six-year touring stint with Bad Boys of Ballet (and, of course, for being a Dance Spirit Cover Model Search finalist in 2008!). But Gumbs' photography has earned equal praise. He's amassed an impressive portfolio of subjects, shooting famous dancers like Ashley Everett, Allison Holker, Melinda Sullivan, and Sean Lew, to name a few.
Is there anything better than a killer dance photoshoot? OF COURSE NOT! Whether you're taking headshots, model shots, or simply images that'll slay on Instagram, dance photography makes the world a prettier place.
To make sure your next dance photoshoot is as 🔥 as you are, we asked photographer Kenneth Edwards for his dos and don'ts. Follow his advice and your dance photography future will be as bright as your "golden hour" lighting.
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.
Every NYC Dance Project image feels like a glimpse into something greater: a dance that's happening behind a curtain, in a private moment. Take, for example, one of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal dancer Céline Cassone's photos, a commanding shot of her on pointe in passé, her fiery red hair flung upward over her face. Or, the image of Misty Copeland that perfectly portrays both her incredible strength and her ineffable grace. NYC Dance Project's photographers have taken powerful photos of dozens of famous subjects. But what inspires their iconic images? And how do you capture such stunning shots?
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.