A magical evening in Lagrasse, France

A few ‘curtain call’ moments from a truly magical evening of classical and contemporary ballet with the Royal Ballet in Lagrasse on 28 July. With thanks to all the organizers at Muse à Muse for putting together this amazing show in one of the most picturesque villages in the South of France. Such a joy to watch these amazing dancers from the Royal Ballet in a wonderful diverse programme of classical and contemporary pieces. The last time this was held in Lagrasse was in 2010 and I am so happy that I got to be part of the event this year.

A big thanks to all the organisers and musicians too.

Connections – Laura Macken

I was very lucky to spend an afternoon in the Dance Ireland studio with Irish choreographer Laura Macken for a studio performance of her new neoclassical ballet ‘Connections’ set to the music of Bach.

Mentored by inspiring Irish (and internationally acclaimed) choreographer Marguerite Donlan and working with seven professional dancers, Laura comments that the ‘various layers of connection we experience in our everyday lives will be explored.  One’s own connection to themselves-their sense of self as people, and their identity as dancers, the different ways in which we connect and relate to others, and our connection to the origins of ballet will all be used in creating this piece.’

Laura was working with a lovely talented group of dancers Eoin Padraig MacDonncha, Kate Haughton, Claudia Arrazia, Pablo von Sternenfels, Yuliya Prokhorova, Fanni Esterhazy and Rose Hardiman. It was an absolute pleasure to meet them all and great to get a glimpse of rehearsal and sneak in a few shots. The studio was packed for their performance on July 20 and a very appreciative audience is looking forward to following the journey that ‘Connections’ will take. Personally. I can’t wait to see it on stage – costumes, lighting and all.

It’s really wonderful to see such high quality ballet being supported in Ireland by The Arts Council Ireland. Thank you all.

Mother nature awakens

It’s nice get back to some outdoor floral photography. Mother nature has been slightly confused by the crazy changing weather and I only really got back out last weekend to see what #springflowers have #sprung. I seemed to have missed tulip season (maybe next year I will make it to the tulip fields in the Netherlands). Here is a selection of #bleedingheart #grannysbonnet #allium #bluebell #snowdrop (snowdrops are from a few weeks back) from my next door farm & gardens Airfield Estate #airfieldestate. I love the walled garden there. There is a little bit of texture added, but the images are pretty much straight from the camera!

Dance, dance, dance……

So far this year, I’ve been a little dance and dance photography obsessed and I hope it continues. These shots were taken the day after a recent London trip to see Giselle at the Royal Opera House (which was amazing – surely that’s worth another post!). The shoot was organised by fellow dance photographer @jezzah59 with the talented professional contemporary dancer Tori (@vic_tori9_winter) – who is a pleasure to work with! I’m really happy with the results – I feel we captured the essence of those transient moments during the improvised dance performance. The last shot was completely spontaneous where street artist @instaminto wanted to join in the action and heat it up 🔥 – what fun! Some really great places to shoot in London town, I will be back……..

 

 

Inspiration…

I attended a fantastic day of talks with photographers David Hobby (aka the Strobist) and Sara Lando. I signed up ages ago (I love when international photographers visit Dublin!) and quite honestly didn’t know what to expect as it wasn’t a practical workshop. Hearing both describe their photographic journeys (the good and bad) was fascinating and inspiring. Both were very generous with the information they shared – I tend to find that photographers at the top of the game are the most generous with their knowledge (it’s really refreshing!). I really loved the impromptu cling film and flour shoot with Sara – I’m going to try this out myself! David passed on lots of advice, his yearly ‘ecosystem’ life map is something we all should do and next on my agenda. A few lucky people are attending practical photography workshops with David and Sara this week………

It’s been a busy summer…….

Canon

It’s been a very busy summer out and about with my camera. Floral photography dominated the early summer (big backlog to process during the winter months). However, recently I seem to have been out and about focusing on event and dance photography (which I also love!). I’ve also been posting on Instagram more regularly and love it (I’m not really using flickr or google+ anymore). I’m loving instagram and the interactions there – particularly this one from Canon UK. I got an invite to the recent #CanonDubinMeet which to my surprise involved photographing dancers outside (in the cold and wet!!!) – ideal! Canon UK even chose one of my photos as the overall winner from the evening. You gotta love instagram for all the new opportunities it brings – well I do anyway!!