The Watchmaker Classical and Street Dance Theatre

Photoshoot fun (involving lots of sparkles with the time fairies and smoke machines with the shadow spirits (plus a smoke alarm to add to the excitement!) with The Watchmaker Classical and Street Dance theatre in advance of their 2019 EU tour starting in Switzerland on 11 May. Check out http://www.thewatchmakershow.com/ for more information.

Choreographed by the talented Veronika Sardiko (who is also the artistic director and owner of MyArt Dance and Art Studio in Dublin), The Watchmaker blends classical ballet and street dance in a modern metropolis. ‘The Watchmaker’ presents the reality of people living in a busy modern city. Lost amidst the hustle and bustle of routine, precious moments of life slip by unappreciated. A mysterious and magic fairy tale for kids and adults. Buy tickets here http://tinyurl.com/yydd4kb3.

Dancing in the forest……

Check out this amazing video for the Dublin Bellydance Project.

I was lucky enough to shoot some stills from the dream sequence in the forest for dancer Aleksandra Bilgic. The video was shot by the super talented Fruit Frame Films – my first time shooting stills during a videoshoot and hopefully not my last!

Such a great afternoon (though I was wrapped up well – not like Aleksandra dancing in her bare feet in the forest). We even used (or rather tried to use) smoke grenades – I definitely need these for my next shoot!

Some behind the scenes shots of the fun here:

And here is a few storyboard shots involving the dream sequence:

Such a joy to be involved in the pre-planning of this shoot too, from sourcing smoke grenades to location scouting. However, the real star is the creative director and dancer Aleksandra, her enthusiasm for the project was infectious, her attention to detail from start to finish second to none and as she danced in the freezing cold forest in her bare feet, her dedication to her art and her vision shone true. Well done Aleks, you should be very proud.

VW Snapshot Competition winner!

Last month, I was absolutely thrilled to find out that I won the design category of the Volkswagen Ireland Snapshot Competition with one of my favorite dancer shots. I took the shot in August after I had seen this amazing street art. Once I had located the wings (with the help of some friends), I knew I had to get a shot with a ballerina and Aleksandra Bilgic (Dublin Bellydance Project) was the perfect dancer to collaborate with for this shoot. She came armed with a white tutu and loads of energy and we spent several hours on a bank holiday Sunday running (and jumping) around Smithfield much to the amusement of locals and passers-by.

So to win a prize for a shot I really love is just an absolute bonus. Plus, I can’t wait to get my hands on the graphics tablet prize!

Since I posted this photo on Instagram, I had lots of requests about where exactly the street art is located. However, it looks like the building is up for demolition now as it went on fire a week or two after I took the shot. Just shows you that you really have to seize every opportunity when it happens.

 

Dublin Culture Night

Dublin Culture Night  (21 September 2018) is always a highlight in the events calendar – such a great friendly crowd and so many more places get involved each year. This year I was lucky to have the opportunity to take some shots of 3 varied studio performances in Dance Ireland, what a treat!

Juan Jesus Guiraldi – Dance Ireland International Associate Artist

A mesmerising and hypnotic contemporary dance performance with Juan Jesus Guiraldi. I look forward to see how this piece develops in the future.

Ballet Ireland with Marguerite Donlon/Donlon Dance Collective

The packed studio audience had a fascinating insight into the rehearsal process with Ballet Ireland and internationally recognized choreographer Marguerite Donlon and Francesco Vecchione (Donlon Dance Collective).  An absolute pleasure to watch a performance of a newly created contemporary piece they had been working on for the last two weeks.

‘In Struggle We Hope’ with Tobi Omoteso & Leo Wolstenholme

The final performance ‘In Struggle We Hope’ was something entirely unexpected (to me anyway!) – a combination of abstract movements and B-Boy/Street Dance intertwined with improvisational and traditional violin music. So much energy – the audience gasped at one stage at a jump/somersault, it was hard for my camera to keep up!

A really unique evening and great to see such diverse audiences for all 3 performances. Well done Dance Ireland and all the performers – until next year!

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……..