Coursework Informing Contexts

Christmas Preparation Task

Last module was very much about my research project and the Story of Drew and his transition. Back to my own practise I have taken my time to think about where it is now, where it is going and where it was one year ago. As I lost all my bookings, not some, all overnight, it took a little while but then Shah’s dance quote brought me back to life.

“DANCE – Defeat All Negativity (via) Creative Expression.”
― Shah Asad Rizvi (2019)

The intent of my practise is a very good question. Rocking along in my own world last year with a diary full to bursting with live competition work, the impending pandemic suddenly brought everything to a halt. Rumours of starting again in the summer, autumn, winter were quickly proved to be wrong. I cannot see it returning in the same format and it could be 2022 before we get any live events back on at all. Therefore my intent has to adapt to the new circumstances. The studio work I have had until the latest lockdown has been very successful and I will continue to work with Strobe lighting and experimenting with shape and form to compliment the shape and form of the dancer.

Shape and form highlighted using modifiers and grids. Image by Douglas Stenhouse; All rights reserved

Using the grey background allows me to concentrate on the dancer, the images produced have no hiding place, no excuses if I miss a shot. The only difference is I can repeat the pose, something I could never do when shooting live.

This summer, lockdown permitting, my intent is to to use more fantasy and props to make the studio experience something more dreamy. I have ideas to create famous movie scenes using dancers as the subject, to put dancers in situations of work but in ballet shoes or tutus. To create sequences of shots always remembering the dancer is the primary subject of the process, not an accessory. Some ideas already started are the Joker’s stairs scene and the fight/dance scene at the start of of House of the Flying Daggers


The main focus in all my shoots is the dancer. There are some who see the dancers as part of the overall image such as The Ballerina Project or Jonathan at Entertainment Photography Services and his use of the American landscape with the dancer somewhere within.

Jonathan Givens;

Myself, I enthuse over the work of ex dancer turned photographer Rachel Neville. New York based Rachel emphasises the technique and form of her subject first and it shows in her work. Dancers practise day in day out to learn and hold a position in a certain way. corrections can be the position of a finger or thumb, a slight twist of the hips or ankle. It is also the collaboration of work between the art of dance and the art of image creating that I adore. To create an image where it wows other dance professionals rather than other image makers is a job well done.

Rachel also offers a Social Media course for dancers to use her images to promote themselves.

Rachel neville;

Moving forward I admire the work of portrait photographer Haseo Hasegawa and his unique use of colour and nature. I intend to include much more colour and fantasy situations in my dance work. Should be a lot of fun.

Haseo Haregawa;


Rizvi, Shah Azad. 2019. Divan of Shah. Available at: [accessed 23 June 2020].

Figure 1: Jonathan GIVENS. n.d. Unknown. Entertainment Photo Services [online]. Available at: http://www.epsportraits/#slide-7 [accessed 22 January 2021].

Figure 2: Rachel NEVILLE. n.d. Unknown. Rachel Neville Photography [online]. Available at::// [accessed 22 January 2021].

Figure 3: Haseo Haregawa. Haseo Haregawa Photography [online]. Available at: [accessed 22 January 2021].