Last week was a really exciting one for us both creatively and culturally. The past month we have been working feverishly on a series of cinemagraphs we made with the School of American Ballet we shot back in February. It’s always been a dream of mine to shoot ballerinas as I so admire their lines, pose, discipline and beauty of dance. As you saw, the cinemagraphs were displayed in the David H. Koch theater of Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera House. These cinemagraph portraits showed the art of ballet caught at it’s best eternally. The perfect pose, spin, point, there to study and be inspired by its beauty. In addition to the cinemagraphs, on this day we also shot the staged dance sequences for the video.
Just to give you some behind the scenes at SAB’s shoot, we kept the setup pretty simple. The inspiration was based on Eadweard Muybridge’s studies in motion from the history of photography. We wanted to study the ballerina, the form, the movement and motion. We decided to put them on two 12×12 Solid black backdrops and asked the dancers to wear all white. With two large Arri M18 HMI lights we pointed up bouncing the light off the white ceiling illuminating the dancers from above going for an effect of a large skylight for a classic and natural feeling. After tapping down a black rubber floor, the stage was set.
We shot six of SAB’s students in one of their dance studios at Lincoln Center. One of the great things about SAB is how they use live piano players, which we had for our shoot, and hire the most passionate teachers. On this day we worked closely with Suki Schorer who directed the dancers throughout the shoot and tweaked their hands or feet positions with every shot.
It was such a joy to create around a thing of incredible beauty like in ballet. After every dance sequence I would applaud and smile from sheer joy… until Suki told me to stop clapping because that tells the piano player to stop playing and nobody wants that.
Here is a peek behind the scenes shot by our assistant Diana Ola~
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For the School of American Ballet’s winter ball, Kevin and I followed three of the students into their experience, thoughts and dreams as they bring to life the dedication and hard work that makes the movement of ballerinas look so elegant and effortless….
Last night was the School of American Ballet‘s Winter Ball in the David H. Koch theater of Lincoln Center. It was a very special night for Kevin and I as for the past couple of months we have been working closely with the team at SAB making a series of ballet cinemagraphs as well as a short film on the lives of SAB students to be shown here on this evening to the distinguished guests that donated / raised over a million dollars last night to aid in the scholarships that allow less fortunate students full of talent to attend this world class school.
It’s not often we get to experience our work “out in the world” or be present when someone sees it for the first time. It was a thrill! Walking into the gallery under dancing cinemagraphs delighting the guests in perfect poise and flawless execution was so charming and I felt, as I sat there, very respectful the discipline and study of dance. It was a great honor to be in the professional position to donate our time and talent to support something we greatly believe in, the arts, and to which we relate as far as the student experience is concerned- coming to New York with a dream and a whole lot of passion.
So honored to wear this gorgeous Ralph Lauren silk gown, diamond earrings by the event’s main sponsor Van Cleef & Arpels and a clutch by the the Winter Ball’s event co-chair Amanda Brotman from her evening bag line Amanda Pearl
(remember the last time I wore a Ralph Lauren gown in Paris…)
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A starry night, a winter ball, a celebration of The School of American Ballet‘s 80 years of dedication to the field of ballet...under the golden roof of Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, former ballet dancers, patrons, alumni, board members, corporate and social communities gathered to raise money to provide student scholarships as well as to maintain the school’s state of the art facilities and faculty. The School of American Ballet was established in 1934 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein with a dream of creating the American classical ballet company, which is today the premier ballet academy in the United States, training the highest of elite dancers at the New York City Ballet and other leading U.S. and international ballet companies.
In a room full of gowns, we sipped on cocktails, dined on classic American fare with tables aglow with starbursts and watched a beautiful performance by the advanced students of the school, choreographed by Silas Farley. It was a dazzling night, but when is it not when it’s made of ballet dreams and Lincoln Center sparkle?…
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