Dance photographers have a unique ability to stop time and eternalize fleeting moments of bodies in motion. Their images explore human locomotion and express the spirit of diverse people and forms of movement. As a celebration of this work, the Santa Cruz Art League is hosting Capturing Dance, the first exhibition to present work by local photographers featuring images of Santa Cruz and Bay Area dancers.
For almost 100 years, SCAL has been passionately supporting experimentation and creation across all media. Capturing Dance has been organized by SCAL’s Executive Director, Valéria Miranda. Miranda’s experience with the local arts community and dance in Brazil, Santa Cruz, and beyond inspired her to showcase movement photography within the gallery context.
The exhibition introduces the public to some of this area’s most accomplished and respected photographers who have been responsible for documenting local dance culture: Cliff Warner, Devi Pride, Joe Ravetz, Susan Hillyard, Tom Jacobs, and Don Monkerud. Through their series of images, viewers are invited to contemplate the dynamic relationship between the artist in movement and artist with a camera. We become familiar with each artist’s creative style and technical skill, and we experience the expressive possibilities of dance reflected through a camera lens.
Each photographer’s approach provides a glimpse into different aspects of dance; highlighting movement as a form of education, entertainment, and expression. We experience the dancers in varied environments in studios and on stages, and in natural and controlled settings. Through each image a different lyrical story emerges – one that shares impressions and information about the dance traditions, the participating dancers, and the photographic process. Details that are not often registered through live action become apparent. Each isolated instance deepens our awareness of movement, and draws our attention to the dramatic components of dance.
The exhibition brings to light the strength, beauty, and agility of dancers as they practice and perform their art. The images reflect solo and group dancers representing diverse genres, ages, and backgrounds. Some images feature well-known local artists, like Tandy Beal, who have influenced the Santa Cruz dance scene for many years. Visitors also learn about leading artists from outside the region, including the stunning San Francisco-based Dawson Company dancers. By capturing their movement, the photographers have intimately conveyed the essence of dance and spotlighted the local dance community.
This collection is one to be appreciated by lovers of dance or photography. It makes us ponder the powerfully expressive human body and the unlimited creative process. This artistic collaboration shows the magic that takes place as the work of contemporary visual and performing artists is merged.
Capturing Dance is one of approximately twelve art shows the Santa Cruz Art League hosts throughout the year. In addition to annual exhibitions, the League keeps the community inspired with art classes, workshops, theater productions, and literary events.
Santa Cruz Art League
July 1 – August 6, 2017