Thursday, July 26, 2012

Stillness as Dance

As I was stumbling along the vast planes of the internet I came across a series of photographs of dancers in St. Petersburg, Russia.  I was immediately struck by the contrast between the arguably formalized movement and the casual setting.  Often, dance photography is done in a studio or is a still from a live performance or rehearsal.  This photographer took dance from the proscenium into the streets.  His subjects are considerably well trained but dressed in casual attire.  As the dancers blend with their fellow pedestrians, the post-modern notion that anyone can be a dancer resounds strongly.  Having a fair understanding of the post-modern era in dance, I am not a stranger to the idea of stillness as dance.  Arguing that dance could be anything and everything, the post-modern dancers paved a way for new interpretation of what qualifies as dance.  I have now found myself in a conundrum due to the vastness of this notion as I pose the questions:
  • Can the act of photography be viewed as dance?
  • Is photography an accurate means of recording dance?
  • Is the physical photograph itself dance or just a representation?
While viewing these pictures, I am aware of several planes.  I am cognizant of the idea that I am viewing an actual photo, which is in itself a representation.  However, the first thing I consider is that I am looking at dance.  Even though the pictures are stills, I feel a sense of motion.
I have an interest in how to capture movement in a single frame.  Also, I love how the dancers seem distinct from their setting.  While the setting helps define the picture, I am more interested in how the dancers seem to be in their own world, unconcerned with their surroundings.

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