flamenco vs ballet

“Put your leg over your head and look sexy.”

Taking photographs is easy when working with professional talent. Today I shot (and killed) 2 professional dancers.

Lately, as some of you know, I’ve been experimenting a lot with dance in my personal life. I started taking Ballet I at a local community college and have been secretly taking hip-hop classes with some of San Diego’s finest G’s for the last couple years. I think about dance a lot – why I do it, what it means to me, and how it has transformed my life. The truth is, I control just about everything in my life. I like things a particular way and I was burn a hole through your forehead with my stare if you try to interfere with my master plan.

Then naturally, I’m drawn to things that challenge my ability to control. Complicated women, radical movements, and most importantly – dance.

You can’t control dance. It’s an act of self-expression – and what that means is that by dancing you’re taking a giant shovel and digging into your guts to see what you are made of. You can be scared and not let yourself move freely, which I did at first. Then have to look at your same timid self in the mirror. Or, you can say enough is enough and start feeling the music and move the way you were born to move. It’s like being a child, in a tribe, around a fire, listening to beating drums, and somehow just knowing what you’re supposed to be doing.

I know that I’m supposed to surround myself with dancers and artists and people that will burn to death if they aren’t creating something in their lifetime.

Thankfully I have a camera to document this time in my life because when I am older I want to look back and smile.

The theme was flamenco vs ballet. Flamenco is a Spanish style of dancing that is rooted in the passion of dirty gypsy women living in caves in the Spanish underground dance scene. Ballet, as many people know, is rooted in intense rigidity and typically reserved for Type-A people that are willing to starve themselves in order to have prettier lines (see Black Swan).

I wanted to see if the 2 styles worked well together on camera, particularly if the contrasting styles would create interesting lines.

Thank you Darci Manzo (black swan) and Erika Lopez (gypsy lady) for being beautiful, brilliant dancers and people that get me excited about life.

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