Jan Mlčoch on his MALEX photo series, created in collaboration with Maria Gornalova and Alexey Yurakov in Liberec:
I was asked by one Prague gallery about an exhibition of ballet photos this March.
First I looked at the pictures I already have and realised that I have not enough of them. So I sent several shooting requests to dancers in Czech theatres. Maria and Alexey answered right away and they were ready to shoot the following day. Quite a rush!
And the haste was successfull. Next evening I arrived to Liberec where Maria and Alexey dance at the local theatre. Right after the ballet lesson they were doing for children we started our session. First I showed them the previous pictures from past shootings of other dancers and they liked them. You could see these pictures in this e-zine in august 2016.
All the pictures are nudes to keep the body lines clear and to avoid any disturbing of these lines by the clothes and focus just on the model. We switched the light off and started shooting the couple pictures, 12 exposures – all great. After that, we made dosens of shots of Maria only and later of Alexey. Everything perfect and everything quick. I almost could not believe my eyes looking at my watch. We were finished after nearly a single hour. Could not believe it because my technique of lighting for my photos is very slow. I use technique called “Luminography” or “Lightpainting”. This means that the model gets into position and poses, after focusing and composition correction the light is switched off and during about 20 or 30seconds exposition the model gets “painted” by the beam of light from a flashlight. It is necessary for the model to stay in the position without any move or at least with minimal movement. This technique allows to achieve really interesting magic in the final picture. My pictures are made fully analogue, shot on film and there is no change made in computer. Everything you see on pictures is on negative and will be on final handmade prints in march exhibition in Prague.
Hope you like my work.
About the dancers
“I am doing ballet because I love it and I love to share my art with others“ She was born in Ekaterinburg. Before discovering dance which became her passion for life she was performing gymnastics, figure skating and a citar playing. After two years remained only ballet. Between years 1989 and 1997 she studied Dagilev academy. After graduation she became a member of Ballet and Opera Theatre in Ekaterinburg and later in theatre of Voronez. Since 2001 you could see Maria Gornalova in National Theatre in Brno within many parts (Gipsy Baron, Swan Lake, La Corsaire, Bajadera, Snow white and seven dwarves etc.) During season 2007/2008 she Dance in State Opera in Prague as first soloist. First roles there were Pas de trois and the dance of Great swans in Swan Lake or Olympia in Lady with camelias. Currently she is a soloist in theatre of F. X. Šalda in Liberec. You can see her in Nutcracker, Harald – the star is back, Peryphery, Dancehall of unspoken wishes, Gustav Klimt.
For some time she also prepairs choreografy (Bat) and works as an asistent while training with Opera and Ballet together. Also she founded her own ballet studio where she teaches older children and conservatory future students. In 2003 she recieved Honorable Mention from 1st International dance contest in Brno. The Manager of the Ballet of Liberec theatre Alena Pešková says: Ideal physical dispositions and span… Line of legs, sure clasic technice, clasical ballet, neo-clasics … „Ballerina“. In 2013 Maria and her husband Alexey Yurakov founded the MALEX Ballet School in Liberec. The School is for children and also for adults. In 2017 Mareia was awarded with Thalia of Liberec.
„Ballet it i sone of my passional love sof my life.“ Alexey Yurakov started dancing hen he was ten. Between 1994 and 1999 he studied a Ballet conservatory in Voronez and right after graduation he became a member of National Theatre in Voronez where he střed for two years. Than he agreed with the offer of National Theatre in Brno. He střed there till 2007. He acted in Russian and Chinese dance in Nutcracker, Pas de Trois in Swan Lake and main solo in Hunters dance( Polovtsian Dances)
. The following season he moved to Prague where he was a soloist in State opera. The part was dance vision of the Shakespeare´s Midsummernight dream. Also the Nutcracker and Russian dance. Currently he is in theatre of F. X. Šalda in Liberec where he is main soloist in Peryphery and Harald – the star is back. You can also see him in Dancehall of unspoken wishes or as Klimt in Gustav Klimt. Alexej Yurakov was also several times awarded. The most improtant are 3rd place on International dance contest in Brno 2003, 2nd place in 2006. The role of Franci in Periphery was nominated on Thalia award in 2010. The Thalia award nominativ was also given for his Haral in Harald – star is back in 2011. In 2013 Alexey and his rife Maria Gornalova founded the MALEX Ballet School in Liberec. The School is for children and also for adults. The Manager of the Ballet of Liberec theatre Alena Pešková says: A person on stage, sure technice – station, jump… sence for style, perfect acting, classics and also contemporary
The photo series MALEX will make part of the exhibition DANZA that will take place in Prague from the 1st until the 30th of March, in Viniční altar Winery, Park Grebovka.
All photography by Jan Mlčoch. Anna Pavlova Network 2018, all rights reserved