CapturingDance: FourPerspectives by BrittanyWitkin I
’ve never been a huge fan of artmuseums,much to the dismay ofmymother.When Iwas in school andwewould take field trips tomuseums, Iwouldwander around the halls, listening to
the echoes of footsteps reverberate off of the intentionally stark, pre- dominantlywhite,walls, andwait for something to strikeme. I understood the thing to dowas go into observation-mode and stare atwhateverwas strategically placed in one’s eye-line. I’dwatch as peoplewould tilt their heads, signalingwhat I knewcould only be some type of deep, analytical thought, and Iwouldwonder, ‘maybe if I leaned to the right, that randomsquarewouldmakemore sense to me?’
My entertainment came in theway ofmy imagination, i.e. creating a story behind the artwork. I’ma huge fan of the idea that inanimate objects come to lifewhenwe’re just not looking. You know, I’d picture the abstract bronze sculpture in the garden standing up on all fours when no onewas looking, or the girl in the century-old oil painting trying desperately to tellme her ‘real’ story through her eyes painted wide open, but the crowds kept her silent.
I suppose I should have been some sort of children’s bookwriter, and I probablywatched Raggedy Ann and Andy far toomany times as a child. That said, I always entered and exited amuseumwith the dis- tinct feeling that, the things everyone else assigned significant impor- tance to, the techniques taught in art history textbooks, I felt lost on. Sure, Imay have been far better off buying the headphones that explained it all, hindsight being twenty-twenty, but I did take some-
Pictured:KoMurobushi&Edge Co. Photo:Amitava Sarkar (2)
thing else away fromthemuseumapart fromthewhimsical stories I had created inmymind and a small, pop-up art bookwith theworks of PaulKlee fromthe gift shop. I learned howto turnmy eyes into sponges.
Imay not have understood everything Iwas looking at, but I respect- edwhatwas hanging on thosewalls. Iwasn’t surewhat the influx of color, shapes, and textureswould do forme internally, but I knewI had to keepmy eyes painted open, and soak it all up. Iwasn’t sure if thesemental pictureswould ever resurface inmy life, literally or figu- ratively, but I had faith that absorbing theminto the folds ofmymind could only be a good thing.
Nowadays,whether it’s the signature tartan plaid on the late AlexanderMcQueen’s runway piece at theMetropolitanMuseumof Art inNewYork, a cropped black andwhite image of a remarkably majestic lion’smane blowing in thewind onmy Tumblr blog, or bet- ter yet, the human formsuspended in air in themost non-human and gravity-defiantway, I amsoaking it all up, absorbing themental pictures and letting themtakemewhere theywill. I can’t seemto get enough.
Iwas approached by amember ofDCNT for this reason exactly.Af
ter noticing a string ofmy posts on theDCNT blog revolving around dance photography,my obsessionwas out, the secret could no longer be kept, nor should it be. I love beautiful images, and especially those that revolve around one ofmymain passions in life, dance.
Iwas asked if Iwanted to reach out andwrite a piece on dance pho- tographers inNorth Texas.Na
turally, itwas yet anotherway formy eyes to feast on stunning and brilliant, almost surreal, images from fourwell establishedmasters of their craft, so I jumped at the oppor- tunity.
Each individual brings a different perspective to dance, and that is the true beauty behind it all.Here’s the equation: Four photographers, four images each, and countless different interpretations to be created by the observer, a.k.a., you.
Pictured:Nozomi Iijima,HoustonBallet. Photo:Amitava Sarkar (1) page 14
The options for inspiration are limitless. For each photographer you will see an edited selection of favorites fromtheir substantial (and hypnotically beautiful) portfolios, alongwith a quote speaking to their
DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publicationof the dance council ofnorthtexas vol. 14 • no. 4
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