why do dancers dance?

this is the question but on a more personal level why do i photograph them? i am at an age when most people begin to slow down yet i am still very much up for the chase. not to say other togs retire to a photographic rocking chair somewhere, i know photographer Jay Maisel is close to 82 and still wanders the streets of NY daily looking for images.

erick hawkins danced well into his 80’s and his wife martha graham who danced until she turned 76 who would still be dancing except for crippling pain of arthritis. as betty davis said ‘getting old isn’t for sissies.’ so why do we do what we do?

for love, is the best thing i can think of.

so i cruise craigslist looking for photography opportunities and came across Banana Peels adv. looking for dance photographers which i answered. my response rate isn’t that great but that’s ok the ones who do respond are cool. Banana peel is doing a residency in philadelphia at White Pines Productions at the  Mohican Outdoor Center.

so they are looking for someone to help them document a fund raising party. kim called me, gee i don’t do events, ‘but we like your out of focus images’ she said. i was in. it’s always good to help out other people especially a whole company of them. the venue university settlement house on the lower side is a lovely place. good performance space well equipped with lighting.

kim almquist

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aaron draper

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they met me describing what they were looking to accomplish that night saying, ‘sorry  we didn’t have enough money to hire a lighting tech so we are going to use the fluorescents lighting’ ugh. having worked the room before i knew it was pretty well equipped so i looked around finding an etc obsession light controller. no problem just turn the switch and boom lights. saved by my lighting designer training. they wanted a bright party light, no problem, bright party lighting.

we ran some rehearsals while i and another tog took some shots without an audience.  the company

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along with friends and guest._MG_7331 copy

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i really enjoyed myself, the people were friendly and pleasant very much like a party.this peel fund raiser is a mixed company of dancers young, older and somewhere in between, i was the oldest i am sure but it didn’t seen to matter we all had a good time. i was exhausted when i got home, oh well.

_MG_7755 copythe banana

it’s really hard even though i have a program knowing what the names of each dance is and who is performing it, my apology.  i’ve yet to sit down with kim and aaron to view what i shot. but this couple performed in rehearsal and it touched something in me. i had to do something special for this piece._MG_7593 copy

‘life and death and the space in between’

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so i lit the piece, actually just moved some dimmer handles around of what there was in the air hopefully adding to the mood of this dance. _MG_7828 copy

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but of course i don’t get hired to work for free because of my straight photography

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not everyone agrees with me but some do

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it was a thrill just seeing this performance and hopefully helping present it.

but there is more, it’s not called fuzzypictures for nothing.

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why do anything?  it’s just not easy to lay down and die.

the end

jene youtt


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2 Responses to “why do dancers dance?”

  1. Peter Le Grand Says:

    What a wonderfully art affirming/life affirming blog!! Happy Fourth Jene

  2. Charlie Says:

    Your last sentence says it all. Excellent coda.

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