Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ballerina + Sea, Santa Maria del Mar, Cuba, Summer of 2014

This was her first year with us, and certainly anything but her last. We were looking for two younger ballerinas because our veteran dancer desired to be photographed as a mentor. It was a glorious idea and we decided to begin the search the next day at her school of dance.

We arrived at a time when all of the dancers and their parents were waiting for classes to begin. We were standing in the open space and looking at the students practicing their lessons. She stood out in my mind, both in her exquisite features and in her relationship with the other dancers. A group of six or so girls were practicing a certain maneuver and she was the one leading in the instruction. It was quite beautiful to see, the young dancer in her natural environment and with her friends.

When our dancer's mother arrived, she asked us if we had found anyone. We pointed to the girl behind her and she immediately took it upon herself to speak with her mother. Once again this is what amazes me about the island, the willingness of people to collaborate photographically and to speak with others on our behalf as well. In doing so they display an unparalleled level of pride, trust and confidence in our work.

The image below is of the young ballerina during our second session. This was exactly the expression on her face as we were speaking with her mother at the dance school… an incredible combination of confidence and joy.

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination onto Kodak TMY 400 ISO film.

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