The Story Behind Those Dance Photography Instas You're Obsessed With
If you're like us, your Instagram feed is probably oversaturated with gorgeous dance shots of your favorite performers. (Not complaining!) But search for "#CamerasandDancers," and you'll find dance photography that stands out from the crowd.
#CamerasandDancers in Washington Square Park, PC Dave Krugman (@davekrugman)
That's because #CamerasandDancers founder Jacob Jonas has created a one-of-a-kind Instameet (an in-person gathering of Instagram users) where dancers and photographers collaborate on shots that expand their craft and produce breathtaking results. Two years and 30 events later, Jonas has built a huge following for his own troupe, Jacob Jonas The Company—and given dance huge visibility within the Instagram community.
His magic formula? A talented dance company (he's worked with Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Royal Ballet, Pilobolus and other top troupes, and often uses his own company), strong photographers with large social followings, and a gorgeous setting—like Jacob's Pillow, the Santa Monica Pier or the Kennedy Center. They shoot for three or four hours, and then distribute the content they've created on Instagram.
Behind the scenes of #CamerasandDancers in Philadelphia, PC Bastiaan Slabbers (@bastiaan_slabbers)
Not only is #CamerasandDancers giving dance more visibility and providing dancers with unique shots for their portfolios, but it's helping institutions sell tickets: Sometimes Jonas partners with the venues (like The Music Center and Jacob's Pillow) who are presenting the company he's working with, helping to push ticket sales by reaching online audiences that the institutions and companies themselves may not have access to.
It's a win-win for everyone involved, but especially Jonas, who has managed to propel his fledgling company into the spotlight and establish himself as a bonafide Instagram influencer.
Alicia has died. I walked around my apartment feeling her spirit, but knowing something had changed utterly.
My father, the late conductor Benjamin Steinberg, was the first music director of the Ballet de Cuba, as it was called then. I grew up in Vedado on la Calle 1ra y doce in a building called Vista al Mar. My family lived there from 1959 to 1963. My days were filled with watching Alicia teach class, rehearse and dance. She was everything: hilarious, serious, dramatic, passionate and elegiac. You lost yourself and found yourself when you loved her.
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.
It's Nutcracker time again: the season of sweet delights and a sparkling good time—if we're able to ignore the sour taste left behind by the outdated racial stereotypes so often portrayed in the second act.
In 2017, as a result of a growing list of letters from audience members, to New York City Ballet's ballet master in chief Peter Martins reached out to us asking for assistance on how to modify the elements of Chinese caricature in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Following that conversation, we founded the Final Bow for Yellowface pledge that states, "I love ballet as an art form, and acknowledge that to achieve a diversity amongst our artists, audiences, donors, students, volunteers, and staff, I am committed to eliminating outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians (Yellowface) on our stages."
An audience member once emailed Dallas choreographer Joshua L. Peugh, claiming his work was vulgar. It complained that he shouldn't be pushing his agenda. As the artistic director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Peugh's recent choreography largely deals with LGBTQ issues.
"I got angry when I saw that email, wrote my angry response, deleted it, and then went back and explained to him that that's exactly why I should be making those works," says Peugh.
With the current political climate as polarized as it is, many artists today feel compelled to use their work to speak out on issues they care deeply about. But touring with a message is not for the faint of heart. From considerations about how to market the work to concerns about safety, touring to cities where, in general, that message may not be so welcome, requires companies to figure out how they'll respond to opposition.