Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Ballerina, Pan American Stadium, La Habana, Cuba, Afternoon of July 9, 2012

Long gone are the days when she was a passive participant in the process. She has in her collaborations last year claimed her rightful place within my work and become a profoundly creative spirit. She needs little direction and stakes her claim to the images with every pose, with every movement. Working with her is more than effortless, it rejuvenates my desire to go on with the work on the island with every click of the shutter.

Certainly I am prone to exaggeration... but in her case the paragraph above is an understatement.

Anything requested for the sake of the work she complies. She comes prepared with the help of her mother for each session, with her hair perfectly in place and her outfit neatly worn. When asked to let her hair down, she is a lioness in front of the lens. Around the Pan American Stadium she would run, looking for new places. In doing so she expanded my view and helped create a deeply moving book.

Even on this overcast day she came filled with energy. I was of course disappointed for her, but she took it upon herself to help me work with the light available. Looking back at this afternoon session, it is easy for me to feel her heart and her kindness. The mood of these images is sublime, void of shadows.

Sure, she knows the fixed positions taught to her in ballet class. She will at certain times show them to me. Then there are those times when she moves to her own beat, and lets the fabric attached to her flow with the wind just as freely.

I adore her and she is quite aware of this fact, since I have told her on numerous occasions. We have had meals together, spent endless hours at her family's home, celebrated her birthday for several years now since it happens to coincide usually with my visits in the summer. As long as she wants to be photographed I will want to photograph her.

She is without equal, very much like her sisters on the island.
Halim Ina Photography

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