This exhibition is dedicated to creating portraits of dancers represented as individuals, not as performers.
It is focused on their idiosyncratic artistry, and explores the often difficult, very personal journey, that led each of them to dedicate their lives to dance.
I began the project by asking each dancer to bring clothing or accessories that were personally meaningful to them – a fur hat and jewelry from China, a wide brimmed striped hat, an African beaded necklace. Most importantly, I asked them to open up to me emotionally and lyrically through the lens of the camera.
But as the project evolved so, inevitably, did it’s form and scope.
Into dynamic movement, which is artistically and emotionally central to many of their personalities.
Figuratively and physically – through the shape and fluidity of their bodies – dancers’ most natural and aesthetic form of expression.
And we had fun! Using theatrical paint and fabric to accentuate the emotion or mood we were exploring.
My intent in each of these portraits is anchored on one central goal: to capture the core emotions and sensibility of each subject – to reveal their inner and outer beauty intimately and sympathetically.
As the show started to take form, one core, powerful emotion shone through in each of my portraits – Passion.
Passion expressed in its multiple, myriad and powerful forms of expression – artistically, physically, and emotionally.
It has been a privilege working with such amazing and generous artists, and I hope you enjoy the images in the Gallery as much as I enjoyed creating them.
I have been deeply engaged in the dance world for two decades, most notably through my board membership of Jacob’s Pillow – the oldest Dance Festival in the US – where I serve as board President.
I love dance above all because it is such a visual, emotional and ephemeral art form, combining extraordinary grace and physicality with exceptional artistry, both individually and collectively.
But the intensity and beauty of the emotion of each moment in dance, that is often breathtaking or heartbreaking, is always gone in the blink of an eye.
That was what led me to explore becoming a photographer – initially focused on capturing the emotion of those moments in the theatre, and then evolving my work into portraiture and landscapes.
Christopher Jones has been photographing dance in theatre and in the studio for seven years, and has studied with leading dance photographers Rose Eichenbaum, Lois Greenfield, Christopher Duggan amongst others.
His work has been featured in the Washington Post, Dance Magazine, and has been used extensively in promotional materials for the Martha Graham Dance Company, Jessica Lang Dance, and in the personal portfolios of a number of leading modern dancers.
Chris is President of the Board of Jacob’s Pillow. In addition to his artistic work, he is a Venture Capital investor and advisor to private companies, primarily in the financial technology industry.