Ari Dunski about his Hotel Carrasco Project

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Hotel Carrasco situated in Montevideo, Uruguay,  stands as a focal point of the urban French styled landscape of the city designed by Charles Thays and Edouard André in the first decades of the twentieth century.

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The architecture , inspired by classical and baroque tradition , appealed to a formal language of eclectic and historicism strongly identified with France root paradigm of civilisation and good taste to the society of the time . It is witnessed by the mansard, monumental staircases and luxuriously decorated interiors even today.


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 I thought that it would be nice to combine this great architecture with the aesthetics of a Ballet dancer, so I chose Sofia Carratu , a great young professional who immediately  felt comfortable and danced for the Hotel, and for my camera.

 

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Irina Mattioli about the Anna Pavlova Contest 2016 winning image

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A few years ago, in a nice sunny Sunday, I asked my two dancers friends Francesco and Alessandro and my friend Martina to join me, in order to realize an outdoor ballet shooting in the mountains.
Martina, who is one of my oldest and dearest friend, was there to help me whit the smoke bombs that I brought – so as to create an eerie, timeless atmosphere – and the two guys where obviously there to model for me. I was very close to Alessandro, with whom I was studying ballet since we were teenagers and, in that occasion, I had the chance to get to know better Francesco, that in those days was attending the National Ballet Academy in Rome. The guys have been amazing: without any hesitation, they naturally started to dance in front of me, barefoot on the wood’s ground. One of the resulting pictures is the one that – with my surprise – allowed me to win the first place at the Anna Pavlova Ballet Photography Contest 2016.

Apollo e Dafne - foto Irina Mattioli (3)


The place chosen for the shooting it has not been random, in fact – apart from being a place of beauty and peace – It has a peculiar value to me. It is located in Valnerina (Umbria, Italy), nearby the village from which my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents and my great-great-grandparents are from: the pine grove of Capodacqua di Postignano, near Sellano. It was actually one of the favorite places of my grand-mother Maria Adelaide and I am truly happy that it ended up being scene of such an amazing personal reward.

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The dancer portrayed in the winning picture is Francesco Arduino Leone, he firstly trained at the Hungarian National Dance Academy and then at the National Dance Academy in Rome. He is now a dancer in the renowned company “Le Supplici” lead by Fabrizio Favale, with which he will soon exhibit in the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon.
The other dancer, unfortunately underrepresented in this very shoot (you can just see his harm), is my dear friend Alessandro Sebastiani. He is an extraordinary dancer that began his training with me at Spazio Danza (Foligno), and then carried on with his studies firstly graduating at the Codars Rotterdam Dance Academy (Netherlands), and then at the National Dance Academy in Rome, where a both human and artistic empathy with the well-known choreographer Laura Martorana allowed him to develop his talent abroad, at Santiago de Chile, where he now lives and works.

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Qualche anno fa, in una domenica di bel tempo, ho chiamato i miei due amici e ballerini Francesco ed Alessandro e la mia amica Martina con l’intenzione di realizzare uno shooting di danza all’aperto, in montagna.
Martina, che è una delle mie più care e vecchie amiche, era lì per darmi una mano con i fumogeni che avevo portato – per creare un’atmosfera fuori dal tempo – e i due ragazzi per farmi da modelli. Conoscevo molto bene Alessandro,  che studiava danza con me da quando eravamo al liceo e in quell’occasione ho approfondito anche la conoscenza di Francesco, che allora studiava a Roma. I ragazzi sono stati stoici, senza esitare hanno iniziato a ballare scalzi, davanti al mio obiettivo, nella pineta.  Uno degli scatti risultanti è quello che – con mia sorpresa – ha vinto il primo posto all’Anna Pavlova Ballet Photography Contest 2016.

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Il luogo scelto per ambientare gli scatti non è stato casuale, oltre ad essere un’oasi di bellezza e di pace, per me ha un valore particolare. Si trova in Valnerina (Umbria), nei pressi del paese dove sono nati e cresciuti i miei genitori, i miei nonni, i miei bisnonni e i miei trisavoli: la pineta di Capodacqua di Postignano, vicino Sellano. Era uno dei posti preferiti di mia nonna Maria Adelaide e sono felice che abbia finito per contribuire ad  una soddisfazione così grande.

Il danzatore ritratto nello scatto vincitore del concorso è Francesco Arduino Leone, formatosi prima all’Hungarian National Dance Academy e successivamente presso l’Accademia Nazionale di Danza a Roma. Da due anni balla per  la prestigiosa compagnia “Le Supplici” di Fabrizio Favale, che prossimamente si esibirà anche alla Biennale Danza di Lione.
L’altro ballerino, purtroppo sottorappresentato in questo scatto (si coglie solo il braccio), è il mio caro amico Alessandro Sebastiani, un danzatore straordinario che ha iniziato la sua formazione con me presso la scuola Spazio Danza di Foligno ed ha proseguito i suoi studi laureandosi prima al Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy in Olanda, poi all’Accademia Nazionale di Danza di Roma dove la sintonia umana ed artistica con la nota coreografa Laura Martorana gli ha consentito di  sviluppare il suo talento all’estero fino a Santiago del Cile, dove vive e lavora tutt’oggi. 

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Alessio Lupo. Interview. Exclusive Anna Pavlova Contest shooting

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]How can you describe your style in photography?

In some way I can say that I am still looking for my own style in photography…. I like telling  an emotional  story, find a special message in every dancer’s movement and let it go right to the heart of those who see my work. Our lives are too chaotic and they are passing too quickly. I try to “freeze”some precious moments and make them last forever.

Come potrebbe descrivere il Suo stile fotografico?

In effetti sono ancora alla ricerca di un mio stile… posso dire che mi piace raccontare un’emozione, tirar fuori delle movenze di ogni ballerino/a un messaggio che giunge dritto al cuore. Conduciamo una vita frenetica che va avanti troppo velocemente. Con i miei scatti cerco semplicemente di “congelare” istanti preziosi per farli durare in eterno.

 

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Your  mode of working with models – have you found it or does it change constantly?

I don’t believe that there exists a “manual for young dance photographers”.  You can only do your best to find a feeling that helps you approach every dancer in a personal way. That’s why the way of working  with dancers changes and depends on what type of person you are working with.  It can change to make each  shooting a beautiful experience  for all the participants.

Come ha trovato il Suo proprio modo di lavorare con danzatori? Oppure si cambia sempre?

Penso che non esiste “il manuale del giovane fotografo per danzatori” ma bisogna raggiungere quel feeling che ti permette poi di poter fare uscire il meglio di ogni danzatore. Quindi si cambia sempre in relazione alla persona con cui ti stai rapportando cercando di rendere lo shooting un momento goliardico da ricordare con piacere.

 

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Are there strict rules in photography for you?

Yes, the rules do exist.  Yet they can be departed from  once in a while, for the sake of originality and, why not, in order to find your own style in photography. I have to admit that I have taken some dance classes also, for better understanding of the theme and my models, and to be able to recognize when the foot is in the “right” position and when there is a better moment to make a shoot.

Esistono le regole assolute della fotografia di danza per Lei?

Le regole ci sono ma è anche bello trasgredire per ottenere risultati originali (e perché no, per cercare un proprio stile). Però ammetto che ho dovuto fare qualche lezione di danza anche per capire il momento utile per scattare oppure riconoscere un piede corretto o meno…

 

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How do you think your art will be changing with time?

I am fascinated by creative movement and improvisation and I have also several long time projects. Definitely  my curiosity and experimenting with new techniques will help me grow.

Come secondo Lei si cambierà la Sua arte col tempo?

sono affascinato dal mosso creativo ed anche dai progetti a lungo termine. Di certo il tempo e la curiosità a sperimentare nuove tecniche mi aiuteranno a cresce e migliorare.

 

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How and when have you decided to become a photographer?

I swear that I have not decided anything! One day my friend Fabio gave me his camera (I believe it was a Nicon d80) and asked me to make some photos. Obviously I didn’t know the rules of photography, I just tried to catch what I liked best and what of this moment I wanted to remain with us. My friends liked the pictures very much. After that I was happy to meet such wonderful photographers as Giovanni Tidona, Silvio Rizzo, Daniele Cascone, Marcello Bocchieri, Roberta Tocco, Massimo Pantano, Dario Broch Ciaros and others who were very kind to  me and introduced me to their techniques and different methods of this passionate art.

Quando e come ha deciso di diventarsi fotografo?

non l’ho deciso, giuro! Un giorno il mio amico Fabio mi ha messo una macchina fotografica (ricordo una nikon d80) e mi ha chiesto di fare foto, ovviamente non ho rispettato nessuna regola ma ho inquadrato soltanto ciò che mi affascinava in quel momento e quegli scatti sono piaciuti. In seguito nel mio cammino ho avuto la fortuna di incontrare validi fotografi disponibili e gentili come Giovanni Tidona, Silvio Rizzo, Daniele Cascone, Marcello Bocchieri, Roberta Tocco, Massimo Pantano, Dario Broch Ciaros e tanti altri  i quali mi hanno in un modo o nell’altro insegnato tecniche e metodi di questa appassionante arte.

 

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Is there a dancer of your dream with whom you would like to collaborate? Is there a location that you would love to work in?

I haven’t  found my one and only Dancer yet, maybe because I like all the dancers with whom I work. My aim is to give more value to my local reality, distinguish  the talents that I have close to me working with the schools and collectives of my Ragusa region. The ideal location for me is every ancient Sicilian theatre and there are many of them where I live and work. They are beautiful, each one is different and makes a perfect frame for a dancer.

Esiste il ballerino oppure la ballerina dei Suoi sogni, con chi vorrebbe collaborare di più? Il luogo dove Le piacerebbe fare shooting fotografico?

Sono alla ricerca del ballerino o ballerina dei miei sogni (anche perché mi piacciono tutti) ed allo stesso tempo vorrei valorizzare i talenti della mia realtà locale fotografandoli con uno stile consono alla loro particolarità artistica come un pittore dipinge la sua tela, perciò mi piacerebbe collaborare con tutte le scuole della mia provincia (Ragusa). Il luogo dove vorrei fare shooting è in tutti i teatri antichi siciliani nella mia zona ne esistono parecchi e tutti particolari ad un ballerino o ballerina farebbero da cornice.
Where do you find your inspiration?

My wife is a pianist and I am inspired by the notes that she plays.

Dove Lei trova la Sua ispirazione?

Nelle splendide note eseguite da mia moglie (ho sposato una pianista).
What is Dance for you?

It’s a Feeling that goes to the soul through the music and movements of the dancers….Emotion. When I see a great ballerina who doesn’t bring emotions, she remains just another great ballerina. But if a dancer succeeds in giving movement and sentiment to the music, what she does  becomes the Dance.

Cos’è Danza per Lei?

Sentimento che giunge dritto all’anima attraversando la musica per mezzo dei movimenti dei danzatori. Emozione. Se vedo una ballerina brava ma non mi emoziona rimane una brava ballerina e basta ma se riesce a dare un sentimento alla musica o un movimento alla musica allora quella è Danza.

 

Who do you consider the best dance photographer?

I would say there are many very good dance photographers, everyone with his own style. Lately, an Italian photographer Luigi Abbondanza has been creating astonishing things  on the theme of water reflections and  you can see his more traditional dance images that are very interesting as well.

Esiste un fotografo chi Lei considera il migliore in questo campo?

ne conosco diversi tutti bravissimi nel loro stile… Ultimamente Luigi Abbondanza mi sta stupendo sempre di più con le sue creazioni riflesse sull’acqua ma giornalmente vedo nuove bellissime foto realizzate in modo magistrale.

 

Your advice to young photographers who want to shoot dance.

Take a course of ballet and find a dance school that will “adopt” you and trust everything else to come along.

Un consiglio ai fotografi giovani chi stanno per lavorare con danzatori.

fatevi un corso di danza e poi trovate una scuola di danza disponibile ad adottarvi il resto abbiate fiducia arriverà da se.

 

Three words that can describe you as a photographer

Curiosity, sentimentality and modesty because in my field there is always something new to learn.

Tre parole con quali si può caretterizzarLa come fotografo.

Curiosità, sentimento ed umiltà perché in questo settore non si smette mai d’imparare e anche un osservatore può essere utile a migliorarti.

 

Dancer: Federica Arezzi

Choreographer: Saveria Tumino

Assistant: Andrea Panuzzo

Location: Progetto Danza Ragusa -IT

 

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Gabriel Davalos. Cuba

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]How can you describe your style in photography?

I don´t even think about a proper style. My pictures are the way to express myself. What I feel:

my longing, my wishes, my happiness, my sadness. If they have a style it should be the way I

understand the life. My style is me, my people, my culture, my country.

 

Ni siquiera pienso en un estilo propio. Mis fotografías son mi forma de expresión. Reflejo de mis

sentidos: mis nostalgias, mis deseos, mis alegrías, mis tristezas. Si tienen algún estilo: es solo la

forma en que entiendo la vida: mi estilo soy yo, es mi gente, mi cultura, mi país.

 

Movement and passion - Gabriel Davalos - First International Ballet Photography Contest Anna Pavlova (2)

 

 

What are the specifics of your work?

I just need complicity, passion, motivation. I don´t take pictures of the body, I try to get the

essence. It is a constant search about the beauty in the secret world of each dancer.

 

Solo necesito complicidad, pasión, motivación. Porque no tomo fotos de cuerpos. Intento

fotografiar la esencia. Es la búsqueda constante de la belleza en el mundo íntimo y a veces

inaccesible de las almas que habitan temporalmente esos cuerpos tan físicos.

 

Gabriel Davalos per Essence13

 

What are the “laws” of ballet photography for you?

I have a holy rule: each picture has to seduce me, shake every part of my flesh and bones, only this way I can

feel complete . The picture that does not move me, I´d rather not to take it.

 

Tengo una regla que nunca violo: cada foto que tomo debe seducirme, estremecer cada parte

de mi carne y espíritu. Solo así siento me siento pleno. La imagen que no me conmueve,

prefiero no tomarla.

 

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How do you think your photography will be changing with time?

Life is a continuos change. Transformation is growing up. I don´t know how is gonna be the

future. But I am a deep revolutionary. My camera and my way of thinking will be united. I will build my way

walking.

 

La vida es dialéctica constante. Renovarse es crecer. No sé cómo será el futuro. Pero soy un

revolucionario profundo. Cámara y pensamiento, iremos juntos. Se hace camino al andar.

 

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What is your professional goal? Who is the dancer of your dream?

More than a goal, I have a place that I always wants to touch: people’s heart. When my pictures

get connected with  with the feeling of the people who see them, they “spring their wings”, leave me behind to go to all the

people who open their heart to them. Obtaining this  there makes me feel really happy.

The dancer of my dreams is the dancer of all days: Grettel Morejon; Principal dancer of the

National Ballet of Cuba. She has been with me, exactly from the first picture.

 

Más que una meta, tengo un lugar a donde siempre quiero llegar: al corazón de la gente.

Cuando una foto conecta con los sentimientos de las personas, abren las alas y dejan de ser

mías para ser de todo aquel que les abre su corazón. No hay nada que me haga más feliz, que

llegar hasta allí.

Tengo el privilegio de que la bailarina de mis sueños, es la bailarina de todos mis días. Mi

bailarina cotidiana, no deja de ser extraordinaria: Grettel Morejón, Bailarina principal del Ballet

Nacional de Cuba, me ha acompañado exactamente desde la primera foto.

 

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration is  everywhere: the people, the city, our history, the feelings… life the ways it is;

with white and black swans.

 

La inspiración está en todos lados: en la gente, en la ciudad, en la historia, en los sentimientos…

en la vida cual es, con sus cisnes blancos, y los negros.

 

Movement and passion - Gabriel Davalos - First International Ballet Photography Contest Anna Pavlova (3)

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Photographer BAKI about his “UNDER” Series

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Under Series is a part of “Project VISION”

I could define the project VISION with those words: Imagination, a Change of Perspective, and Vision (Fantasy) about an ObjectNow, as for Under series;One day, I saw a tutu laid on floor upside down. Various colors were mingled and layered in that tutu, and that makes me think of flowers. There, a tutu started to turn into a flower that I haven’t seen before. Then I was wondering what if I create things from different perspective like, under: Looking at things from under. And then I was also wondering what people would think of and how they feel about my creation from different perspective. I wanted to share the thoughts and imagination.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”48953″ media_width_percent=”70″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”48954″ media_width_percent=”70″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”48955″ media_width_percent=”70″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”48962″ media_width_percent=”70″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”48963″ media_width_percent=”70″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Régine Temam. Interview

RÉGINE TEMAM
ANNA PAVLOVA BALLET PHOTOGRAPHY
CONTEST FINALIST 2016

Régine Temam lives and works in a very special place. She is from Paris.
Her photography is exquisite, chick, stylish, unusual and…black and white without compromises.
Régine’s “story” with photography began in 1991 absolutely by chance, or should we say by destiny? First she experimented with street photography and later she “discovered” a theme of female portraits in her art. Photographing dancers at rehearsals and on stage came naturally after that because Régine always was a passionate ballet lover.

 

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How can you describe your style in photography?

– I would say I am a classical and figurative photographer. I take what I see, preferably completely natural, without any special effects. Sober and to the point.

What are the specifics of working with dancers as models for you?

– I have been an amateur dancer for quite a while myself, so I know the positions, working at the barre, which gives me the advantage of being in a way an insider in the world of ballet. Added to that, I have seen most ballets in the repertoire and I am familiar with their career paths.

With the model you have chosen, I told her what she had to do (I was in Vienna then and she performs in Vienna) : I asked her for “a grand écart”, made my own composition by putting
a white sheet on the floor. She did beautifully what I asked her to do and I did a whole series with her within quite a short time.
I made many portraits of Sabine (her name) and we have been very good friends ever since.

 

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What are the “laws” of ballet photography for you? Do you ever break them? Do they exist at all?

– Preferably black and white. Cropping and perspective are my fundamentals. I tend to prefer taking pictures of female dancers to male
dancers because women have a mirror effect on me. I have also taken photos of many male dancers whilst rehearsing and performing.
I draw a distinction between models who pose for me and dancers of whom I take pictures when they perform, unbeknowst to them. When
they pose for me, I tend to direct them : ask them for a “pirouette”, a “grand écart”, a “demi-plié”. When I am working whilst they are
rehearsing, I keep shooting as much as I can while my mind has a very clear idea of the scene I want to create. Back at home,
I sort out the shots and choose the best.
On stage, I also use colour but I must say, this is not my favourite aspect.

Actually, I never break my own rules. The laws do exist indeed but they are not written : they are ingrained in me, like the rules of choreography.

Do you like trying new techniques and approaches in photography?

– No, I don’t. I am of the old school so much so that I was very reluctant to go digital. It was not until
2006 that I bought a digital bridge camera, convinced by a friend. To this day, I don’t see digital photography as
“real photography”. I want and use a traditional camera, and still use black and white films in the manual mode.

Who is the dancer of your dream? The location?

Baryshnikov! I discovered him 40 odd years ago in the Turning point. The location : New York
Way back in 1978, I had spent a month in L.A. and on my way back home (to Paris), I stopped over at
Kennedy airport. I had to wait for seven hours. I found the book “the Turning Point” and read it compulsively.
I didn’t look at my watch until boarding time.

New York because last May, I attented the ABT Silver Jubilee at the Lincoln Center. The weather was gorgeous.
VIPs galore and I shot and shot. My dearest niece who lives and works there, whom I had visited, took pictures
of me and I look glamourous, I guess because I was so happy.

 

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Where do you find your inspiration?

– Two components : 1) The beauty and perfection of dancers; 2) My passion for ballet.

What attracts you more in ballet as a photographer – dancers’ everyday work and routine or the “glittering” performance part?

Definitely, the everyday work and routine, ie for me black and white and the real work.
Glittering is definitely not my cup of tea and it means colour.
One example : I was once on a cruise in the Mediterranean and – something I didn’t know when I registered – they had some dancers from the Paris Opera
Corps de ballet. They were rehearsing daily on the boat. I never missed one single session, with my Nikon F90. I must have used some 10 films at least.
The last day, was performance day and it was dull compared to the magic of rehearsing sessions.

Who were your teachers? Do you ever ask advises of other photographers?

– I guess you mean my teachers of photography. But first things first : my ballet teachers were a couple of white Russians in Tunis where
I was born and grew up. During the class at the bar, I would look and “penetrate” all black and white photographs on the wall of Lycette Darsonval,
Liane Daydé, Janine Charrat, Milorad Miskovitch, Anna Pavlova, one of the first prima ballerina dancing on pointes with what used to be still almost
“demi-pointes”, Margot Fonteyn.

Now , to come back to your question, I had one teacher whom I’ll name V.S. to preserve his identity. He was a photographer and gave me just
a few tips. For the remainder, when I started in 1990, the preparatory work had been done unconsciously for at least two decades.
I don’t ask advice of other photographers. Mind you I followed a one-day course at Harcourt-Studios and one course on photo development.
My teachers are also the many photo exhibitions I have attended.

Your own advice to those who are thinking of shooting dance for the first time.

– Practise and love ballet and black & white and the rest will come naturally.

 

 

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©ANNA PAVLOVA ASSOCIATION. All rights reserved.

Evgeniya Pirshina. Interview

EVGENIYA PIRSHINA
ANNA PAVLOVA BALLET PHOTOGRAPHY
CONTEST FINALIST 2016

Evgeniya Pirshina, Ballet and Theatre photographer from Moscow, has succeeded in so many artistic fields that it is hard to describe in one short article.
Since 2006 she was a singer at Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre in Moscow. This is already enough for a beautiful full time career, but not for Evgeniya!
She began shooting performances, has reached a very high professional level in it and now she is an official photographer of Festival Context Diana, Musical Theatre of Stanislavsky, Festival of Contemporary Dance Prisma. Also, she is the creator of the project “The Story of the Theatre” in which photographs of worldwide known artists are presented.

 

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How can you describe your style in photography?
Defined forms and clean lines.

What are the specifics of working with dancers as models for you?
We must be on the same wave to achieve great results.
Is it important to understand and know ballet to succeed in stage photography?
Yes, but if you have an eye for photography you can learn it.
Who were your teachers? Do you still seek their advice?
My intuition and my husband. Both are good advisers.

 

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Color or Black and White and why?
I only use color when it makes the picture.

Do you try to get to know your models and their story or this only distracts you from work?
It distracts me.
What are your professional goals?
To be represented at the best galleries and museums around the world.
Who is the dancer of your dream?
Diana Vishneva

Where do you find your inspiration?
Great classical music

Your advice to those who are thinking of shooting ballet for the first time.
Have fun in the process and don`t forget that extra battery!

 

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©ANNA PAVLOVA ASSOCIATION. All rights reserved.

Han Balk. Interview

HAN BALK
ANNA PAVLOVA BALLET PHOTOGRAPHY
CONTEST MAGIC ON STAGE CATEGORY WINNER 2016

Han Balk from The Netherlands is Magic on Stage category Winner of the Anna Pavlova Ballet Photography Contest 2016.
His experience in photography is very diverse – Han Balk began as a sports photographer working mostly with football and mountain bike racing in the nineties. After a long period without shooting Han has turned back into the world of photography that was drastically different by that time….
Han Balk shot several dance events after he “picked up” his camera again, yet he believes himself to be “pretty new into the ballet photography”.
New or not, we are sure about one thing – fresh, vivid, uncommon images of Han Balk have already gained attention and love of the public.

 

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How can you describe your style in photography?
I don’t think I have a specific style and I don’t want to be pinpointed to a specific style either. I do like clean shots with bokeh backgrounds and I really like black and white photography although the majority of my ballet photos are in colour. I always try to be a little different, an unusual point of view or lens, a lot of backlight, lens flare or a slightly different post-processing. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

What are the specifics of working with dancers as models for you?
Working with dancers has two sides. They want to be perfect and expect you to be the same and push the limits. Working together can be high demanding for dancers and photographers. Sometimes a certain movement or jump needs to be taken over and over again. It can be very frustrating when it doesn’t seem to work out. Both need to maintain their concentration and a regular break can clear the sky.

 

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On the other side dancers are the most perfect models on earth. Who am I to tell them how to pose or move? We only need to discuss the result, because some poses look really great in real life but look less great or even strange on photo. But when you see dancers sharing your photo for example on social media, you can tell yourself you did a descent job.

What are the “laws” of ballet photography for you? Do you ever break them? Do they exist at all?
I hear a lot of people say ballet and photography are made for each other. For me ballet and photography have a love-hate relationship. Photography can show the beauty and the grace of ballet far better than video or the human eye, but it can also reveal the imperfections. The slightest timing mismatch in a group of dancers can look real ugly and ruin your photo. A bad timing of the photographer is even worse. When you shoot an on stage performance you only get one chance. So it all needs to fit together to make a nearly perfect photo. So if there’s a law in ballet photography it should read that it all needs to fit together. I explicitly said nearly because I’m never completely satisfied with my own images, there’s always room for improvement.

How do you think your photography will be changing with time?
As I said, there’s always room for improvement and I can live with the idea that I’ll never make the perfect shot. So be it. Nevertheless I keep trying and improve my photos.

What are your professional goals? Who is the dancer of your dream?
I don’t have a timeline or specific goals. I hope the exposure of the Anna Pavlova Ballet Photo Contest give me the opportunity to shoot more ballet on stage, rehearsals and in the studio too.

I do want to try some different techniques, never or hardly ever used in ballet photography. Maybe something for the Anna Pavlova Ballet Photo Contest 2017.

 

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Although I don’t have any specific dancer in mind, I like to shoot some classical ballet too. We have some excellent performers here in the Netherlands, perhaps someday…

Where do you find your inspiration?
Mostly on the internet. Pintrest is a good tool for this; you can make your own online private scrapbook with photos. I don’t want to copy those images, but use them as a starting point for a moodboard. The final result is a combination of several photos on the moodboard. Or even something different because the idea came up during the shoot.

What attracts you more in ballet as a photographer – dancers’ everyday work and routine or the “glittering” performance part?
For me shooting a real great image during an on stage performance is the best. You’ve got one chance, you need to deal with the on stage light and be in the right position. When you work with 2 cameras you can miss some essential shots because you’re just switching and sometimes you’re just in the wrong position. Modern LED lights look really nice for the human eye, but can be a photographer’s nightmare. That’s all in the game.

Your advice to those who are thinking of shooting dance for the first time.
Your camera equipment can never be the limitation. The photographer is the limitation. Learn how it works and get the best out of your equipment. A new, expensive camera or lens doesn’t make better pictures itself. It’s up to you to do this. Just do it, dare to fail and learn from it.

It’s almost impossible to be completely unique, but dare to be different and don’t care about people who don’t like it because it doesn’t look like the majority.

Show your photos to a dancer and ask her/him what you can do to improve your photos can be frustrating but very helpful too.

 

 

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