I am a photographer.
I am not a dancer.
Photography is, in many ways, the polar opposite of dance. A photograph is still, represents only one specific moment in time and space, and can be enjoyed and examined over time. Dance, on the other hand, is the experience of movement through space over time, and is ephemeral. It exists in the moment and then disappears.
I enjoy the challenge of stopping a movement and retaining the feeling of movement in the photograph. What drew me to photography over thirty years ago was the belief that through my lens I could control and order the world, stop the constant flux and try to make sense of the chaos of life. In order to enjoy photographing dance, I have had to learn to be much more comfortable with chance, uncertainty and imperfection. Even in the studio where I can control the lighting, I have to anticipate and press the shutter button with no assurance that everyone will be where I hope them to be and that I'm capturing a moment that truly represents the movement energy and ideas of the choreographer. I have never liked posed, static photographs of dancers, so I have always asked the dancers in the studio to move through each shot. It is my job to stop them and their job to move. I believe that this approach often leads to interesting discoveries rather than forced moments. I also tell the dancers that since a photograph only records a single moment, then whether they are on stage or in the studio, this moment, this performance, has to be real.
This is the purest form of photography that I have attempted over my thirty year career. It is all about timing, relationships, and the moment.