The complexity of dance, the simplicity of form, the combination of available light, fast manual Carl Zeiss lenses and the use of black and white film provided the perfect medium for my Dance in Focus collection.
These photographs are part of a broader study and illustrate how the human body, caught in a moment, can provide the eye with a delight similar to that of an abstract sculpture. I wanted the dancers to appear as statues for a moment rarely appreciated whilst a dance is being executed upon the stage without any distraction from either camera lighting of my presence in their creative moment.
Furthermore in looking for a dance subject I wanted to undertake something which was not only a documentation of an entire dance company but a visual inspiration
On my travels I found a ballet company in Sarasota Florida, the then new director had made the bold albeit risky decision of putting an entirely different set of productions on the American stage, many having not seen the light of day in the United States in recent years if ever to my knowledge.
This was the opportunity to not only see and document something different but to work closely with the company to show the entire process from start to finish in a candid documentary style. I managed to photograph the practice, the costumes, the rehearsals, the nerves, sore toes and final stage production. The entire project was shot on traditional Ilford black and white film, with available light only and I manually push-processed the film and later hand printed the results in my darkroom.