Portrait of Xin Ying
I first met Ying close to 10 years ago. She was early in her career as a member of the Martha Graham Company and I was taking my first workshop in dance photography – so it was a particular point in time for both us. Since then, I have been fortunate to follow her personal and artistic trajectory, and have photographed her numerous times both on stage and in my studio.
Ying is an extraordinary force of nature – driven, passionate, determined and, unequivocally an artist.
And then a tragedy occurred that, as she described it to me years ago, transformed her life. An earthquake and a massive set of landslides and mudslides struck Sichuan and Ying found herself carrying victims on planks into a hospital – and it was then that she decided to dramatically change her life’s journey.
She applied for and received a scholarship to study at the Martha Graham School in New York and arrived in the US knowing no one and speaking no English – just the language of dance and her belief in her destiny as a modern dancer in the US.
Her progress has been meteoric, joining the Martha Graham Company in 2011 and rising quickly to become a Principal dancer, performing lead roles in both classic Martha Graham pieces, and new work by a host of contemporary choreographers.
She is also a devoted mother and spouse and has been able to create work life balance that has enriched and strengthened her development as a dancer and choreographer.
This portrait series reveals the multifaceted aspects of Ying’s personality, and also represents her as an artist at the peak of her powers:
Elegant and Glamorous
Magnetic and mysterious
Humorous but Fierce
Confident and Daring
Bold and Bewitching
Strong and Seductive
And above all an amazing collaborator! It was a privilege to work with her on this project, and I hope (as always) that you see her as clearly as I do.