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  • Writer's pictureMara Cabral

Photographing dance - joining two passions!

In this session I have been able to put together my two greatest passions in art: dance and photography! I have studied contemporary dance and improvisation in Portugal and since I started my journey in photography I knew I would have to connect the two of them one day, somehow. And lately I have been taking steps to do so. I have started with self portraits and collaborative projects with another photographer and dear friend, which are yet to see the light of the day! (watch this space over the next few months!!)

I truly love improvisation in contemporary dance as it is a lot more than the simple performing of dance steps. It is looking for your own dance language and writing it in space. It's bringing your feelings and history into it and allow them to be expressed through the language of dance, if you so wish. It's pure creation, using your own body as an instrument and a canvas at the same time. And I love how we can bring it anywhere and more than that allow the space that surrounds us influence and interact with your dance.

But in general I truly love to watch people express themselves through dance, whatever sort of dance it might be. And I see in it a huge potential to explore photographically. Movement is a wonderful thing and photographers have always been drawn to it be it by freezing or by registering over a period of time through long exposure.

Then a huge opportunity came up when my great friend and amazing dancer and creator Marisa Flamino came to visit for a couple of days. Marisa and I have studied in the same dance university years ago and been friends ever since. I have had the enormous pleasure of seeing her dancing several times and I have had the amazing experience of being choreographed by her. Being two creative minds, it didn't take us long to join forces and come up with this collaborative series. While Marisa developed an improvised dance in this very special spot I followed her around and registered the magic happening right before my eyes! Unfortunately, Marisa is not based close enough for we to do this very often, otherwise we could have developed it a lot further. But I am very happy with the results we got in such a short time! And we will be collaborating again whenever possible!

After this experience I feel even more compelled to collaborate with dancers in this sort of project. I know it is part of my creative path to do so and all I am missing at the moment is to have more dance contacts in this area! If you know of anybody in dance who might be interested in this sort of project, please comment bellow or send them my details! Contemporary dance and improvisation would be my first choices but I am interested in hearing from anyone who dances, as long as they would be interested in bringing their dance into the nature (or eventually into a studio). I am not so much interested in photographing dance poses (although we can do a few of those too) but more in photographing dance as it happens, exploring angles, perspective, speed and alternative photographic techniques.

If you would like to see these photos in more detail, please use the slideshow bellow!

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