BBC news is featuring a portfolio of dance photographs of English Photographer Jim Markland entitled “Ballerinas in the wild.” The term “in the wild” is meant to connote outside of their natural habitat and features ballerinas dancing and leaping in strange exotic places like on the tarmack of airports and in old pump houses. My personal favorite is an image of ballerina Szilvia Zsigmond on a Cheltenham Street: stretching, reading a book, and waiting for a bus.
You can also visit Markland’s website Rowbotham Dance Photography. Dance photographs are his specialty, and you can see an extensive slide show of his work on Flickr. Check out his tango images such as this one from the Pittsville Pump Room. It captures all the intricacy of the tango perfectly: intense focus, prefect form, and a profound dose of the sensuous.
We have recently spoken about the great appeal of dance photography in connection with the work of E. E. McCollum. There is, of course, an artistic tradition that goes back to Degas. The diversity form and beauty certainly appeals to both Degas, as a painter, and to photographers. But, I think, that there is a special appeal for photographers because of the way that the medium is capable of catching that brief instant in time, when gravity seems overcome, and the figures fly, seeming effortlessly, through the air.
For those of you fortunate enough to be visiting the English countryside this summer, there is a show of his work at the Gloucestershire Guild Hall for the month of August 2013 called “Jumpin.'” The rest of us must be satisfied with these slideshows.