Monday, September 20, 2010

The Wing

Saturday, September 18th, 2010
Grodno, Belarus

Paul Taylor's "Esplanade"

Sometimes the most fun place to shoot a concert is from the wings. Its an angle the audience never sees, a perspective the choreographer doesn't build a dance to. As such its always fresh and surprising, partly because you see what the dancers see, not what the audiences sees. From the seats in a theater you are taken into the magic of a performance and a dance. From the wing you see everything else as well. The sweat, the mad, exhausted breathing, the smile from a dancer whose back is to the audience even for a moment before she turns, dead serious, around, back in character once more. 
Kathryn Pilkington in Christopher K. Morgan's "+1 / -1"

The light is different as well. Side lighting makes for dramatics that are absent from the front, as well as enormous technical challenges for a photographer. Your light meter is useless -- worse than useless, really, because if flat-out and constantly lies to you. There's not way it can balance the different light sources and so you have to go with your gut. 
Alice Wylie and Maleek Washington in "+1 / - 1"
Personally I love the challenge of getting a dancer between me and the side-light on the other side of the stage. It creates incredible silhouettes and shadows, lens flares and light-burn. 

Grodno is a special theater for many reasons, and so it was great fun to shoot the concert from stage left -- which, by the way, is completely different from shooting it from stage right. Its a wholly different show. 

Here are a few of my favorites from Grodno of two dances --- Chris's "+1 / -1" and Paul Taylor's "Esplanade."
Alice Wylie in "Esplanade"
Maleek Washington in "Esplanade"
Liz Gahl in "Esplanade"
The signature image of "Esplanade" from the wing

1 comment:

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