Light Matter – Cambridge 800th Gala Dance Show

After months of planning and rehearsals, the Cambridge Contemporary Dance company staged their uniquely-located gala dance show, celebrating Cambridge University’s 800th anniversary year. The show took place in the university’s Senate House, and included several dance pieces choreographed and performed by the CCD dancers, as well as contributions from other artists.

I’d taken the publicity photographs for the show, which were published on the front cover of Cambridge’s Agenda magazine.

Light Matter Dance Show

Light Matter Dance Show

Light Matter Dance Show

Thermin Performance

Light Matter Dance Show

Light Matter Dance Show

Many more photos from the dance show can be viewed at CantabPhotos

Dance Photo on Cover of Cambridge Agenda Magazine

Several images from my recent publicity photoshoots with the Cambridge Contemporary Dance company have been used in a magazine article about the forthcoming Senate House show, and one of the most striking images was selected as the cover image for this month’s issue of Cambridgeshire Agenda.

You can view more images from the two shoots (photoshoot 1, photoshoot 2, image used for flyer/poster, final composite image), or download a copy of the article in PDF format.

20091101-cambridge agenda cover

Download a PDF of the article (960kb)

20091101-cambridge agenda spread

Dance show publicity photoshoot

I’ve been photographing and designing the publicity for Cambridge’s largest dance show for several years now, and was again asked to create some images for the forthcoming CUCDW dance show at the ADC theatre in January 2010.

The three producers of the show are all great dancers, so modelled for the publicity photos. I’d wanted to photograph them for a while, and wasn’t disappointed in the results.

Given the show’s title “Signatures”, we had an idea of capturing silhouettes of signature moves from various dance styles. The following is the main image chosen for the publicity.

Striking dance silhouette

This main image (and others from this shoot) were combined for the final poster design . Of course I’m not one to waste an opportunity to photograph such beautiful and talented dancers, so here are a few more photos taken during the rest of the shoot.

Dancer arched backwards

Dancer leaping

Ballet dancer arching backwards on pointe

Ballet dancer on pointe

Two dancers

IMG 4314 p600

Dancer in back bridge

Dancer on floor

Dancer reclining on floor

Dancer in camel yoga pose

Dancer leaping into air

Three dancers posing together

Three dancers posing together in a curve

Cloud Forest Silhouette

I recently had a photoshoot with a dancer, and got some great photos of her in silhouette. Once I had processed the silhouette in black and white, I was then inspired by two of Magritte’s paintings, and here’s what I came up with.

Cloud Forest Silhouette

The inspirational Magritte paintings:
The Blank Check (left) and The Large Family (right)

Magritte Inspiration - The Blank Check, The Large Family

Light Matter – Final Composite Image

At the end of the second CCD photoshoot, I took turns with each dancer to get shots of them leaping in different poses and places, with the idea of putting together a specific image that I had in mind. I was hoping to play on two meanings of the word “Light”, in the dance show’s title.

Firstly, the dancers are depicted as light things, as they float in mid-air.

Secondly, I thought of a prism splitting white light into its constituent spectrum colours.

Light Matter, Prism, Spectrum, Floating Dancers

Light Matter, Prism, Spectrum, Floating Dancers

As always, I’m indebted to my dancer muses for providing me with the opportunity (and their talents) to create more works of art that I can be proud of.

Light Matter Publicity

From the two photoshoots with the Cambridge Contemporary Dance company dancers, this image was chosen for their poster and flyer, promoting their December show to celebrate Cambridge University’s 800th anniversary. The alcoves are on the west side of the Senate House, and made for ideal frames for the dancers.

Dancers in stone alcoves

Senate House Dance Photoshoot #2

A few days after the first Cambridge Contemporary Dance photoshoot, a second shoot had been scheduled at the Senate House. We’d learned from the earlier shoot that “light”, leaping photos looked good, and the main door of the Senate House made for a striking and identifiable background.

I took several more leaping shots on the grass, with the idea of compositing them into something specific…more about that in the next post.

Leaping Dancer

Leaping Dancer

Leaping Dancer

Leaping Dancer, falling from sky
Falling from the sky

Dancer in white, in front of building

Senate House Dance Photoshoot #1

The Cambridge Contemporary Dance company are putting on a show in December as part of Cambridge University’s 800th anniversary celebration year. The show has the rare privilege of taking place in the Senate House, the university’s main ceremonial building. The show is called “Light Matter”, so a couple of the ideas played with the weightless connotation of the word. I’ve photographed many of CCD’s dance shows in Cambridge, and have produced publicity photos for them in the past.

Senate House Dance Statues
This one is my absolute favourite

Dance Goddesses
Greek goddesses

Dancer leap outside Senate House

Dancers outside Senate House

Dancers on steps outside Senate House

Dancers floating outside Senate House

The last image was a composite of 4 stacked photos, as it’s too hard to get all dancers to strike their mid-air pose at exactly the same time. It also allowed them to wear the same costume (of which there was only one), giving them a uniform appearance.