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Learning the Visual Language of Dance

15 Jan 2016


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Learning the Visual Language of Dance

My fascination with dance began when I was a child. I must admit I never achieved any kind of mastery, despite many years of training and my great passion for this art form. Only through my photography did I manage to turn dance into a beautiful world of expression. Whenever I have a chance I grab my camera to photograph any form and style of dancing. The moving body conveys feelings or ideas that cannot be put into words. Being able to capture that through my camera gives me enormous joy and great satisfaction.

Although each dance has its own unique appeal and form of expression, my favourite dance to photograph is ballroom dance, by far.

Ballroom dancing is like a conversation between two people. Bodies are the communication, and movement is the underlying tone. The rhythm is the speed and the dancers are the topic. Nothing in the world matters as they gracefully twirl around each other, seductively moving their torsos. They bring a wordless interpretation of the rhythm in a way we can understand, no matter what language we speak. The dancers move as if transformed by music, flowing in graceful arcs, limbs in constant motion, painting a picture that sound alone can never achieve.  The ballroom dancing is infatuating. The lust and passion that come with it are intense. With each swaying movement of their hips, with each alluring twist of their bodies, they tell a passionate story of a couple falling in love.

When I photograph dance, I try to capture human bodies moving through time and space. Each step reminds me of an expressive kinetic sculpture. There’s a fleeting moment of passion, frozen in time but full of energy and excitement. The challenge with dance is to capture an array of emotions through the poses of two bodies. A dancer skillfully uses the body to speak an inner language. My task is to investigate that language, and then translate it through my photographs.

Here is the result: