Being Contemporary At Dance

Posted in clicking 365 project

Being Contemporary At Dance

It always surprises me how accommodating people are, especially when they’re passionate about what they do. Today was a first for me. Photographing Contemporary Dance. Exhilarating. Energetic. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a class of  Grade 12 pupils.

‘Never try to paint effects in nature, you know, sunsets, or even sunrise on the mountains, unless you want to produce a picture postcard … try for simple, straightforward renderings of light and shade – that’s the secret, shadow and sunlight – and search for the colour, always remembering you are composing natural forms, not just copying what you see’ (Hugo Naude, London, 1972).

Hugo Naude, a well known South African artist, is a legend in our neck of the woods, some people like him and of course some people dislike him.   All across our village there are landmarks bearing his name.  Today I went to the Hugo Naude Art Centre.  Here children from all ages across the community may attend an Art Class.  Dramatic art, visual art, fine art, photography, pottery and Art History are some of the subjects to choose from.

Pupils love attending the school where they have freedom of expression in all its forms, here they’re challenged to deliver work of the highest order, standards are set by a compliment of dedicated, enthusiastic and loyal teachers who always attempt to give learners the opportunity to flourish under their guidance.

This is the very first time that I’ve had an opportunity to work in a dance studio, with natural light and very flashy fast movements.   In keeping with the genre, I've attempted a more "contemporary" style too, a little soft to show movement, sometimes washed out depicting the sunlight streaming into the room and lightness for the atmosphere in the class.

I am sure this statement applies to all dancers: “I did not want to be a tree, a flower or a wave. In a dancer's body, we as audience must see ourselves, not the imitated behaviour of everyday actions, not the phenomenon of nature, not exotic creatures from another planet, but something of the miracle that is a human being.” Martha Graham

Like these students I too believe that “practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” Martha Graham

Sadly it seems as if this particular class will be phased out as other genres are more in vogue right now. I’d like to thank the Dance Mistress Kaylah Solomons for allowing me to spend the afternoon with her and her students.  I loved seeing you work with such commitment and passion.  In my books you could be  our very own Ciara!  Thank you Nomsa, Kaylyn and Christelle you're all beautiful stars!

I used my 70-200mm lens, ISO600, shutter speed as fast as possible using natural light  and F.stop of 2.8.  It was really difficult to decide which photographs I should post, I chose the ones I liked (of course) the placement is random.

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