Saturday, August 4, 2012

Camila y Leandro, Estadio Panamericano, Cuba, Morning of July 26, 2012



I receive a call the night before to confirm this morning's session, a reflection of the professionalism inherent in these two individuals. We arrive at their apartment before the sun is up and they are ready within ten minutes. Our destination is the main stadium of the 11th Pan American Games, a standing tribute to the games held in Havana, Cuba from August 2 to August 18, 1991.

The stadium is now silent with the exception of the few athletes living on the premise and practicing within its walls. The structure has deteriorated since its inception, yet holds a significance clearly felt when one stands within its shadows. 

As we pull up, the sun begins its ascent from the horizon. It is still quite early and the two dancers take a moment to get ready for their performance. They tell me that they have been working on a piece and would like to present it this morning for the camera. The larger camera will be used for the formal portraits and the smaller camera will be used for the motion sequences.

Camila has worked with us before, last year in front of this stadium and at my friend's home as well. She is a most genuine spirit and helps everyone feel comfortable even before we begin. Leandro is a most endearing man, and allows me to present requests without hesitation. They begin their performance as the sun rises, and continue for the next hour and a half. The temperature rises quickly yet they remain unaffected, never showing a sign of distress.

They move from one emotion to another seamlessly, and the simple concrete floor and white wall combination becomes their stage. They forget about the dirt, the small stones and the tiny pieces of glass here and there. We are treated to a performance before it has been presented formally to an audience. I cannot describe the feeling this morning, and will look forward to the images in six weeks.

All of us agree that the session has concluded at the same time, get into the car and head to a local stand for some juice. Pineapple is the choice this morning. 

For more of my work, please visit the newly designed website below, courtesy of Patrick Luu.

Halim Ina Photography