Most of the images on this page were created by isolating the dancers from everything else in the photos and then adding a backdrop.  This process is done with Photoshop.  Photoshop is the digital equivalent of a dark room.  In fact, many of the techniques and enhancements used in photoshop get their names from the darkroom technique that they simulate.  Even great photographers like Ansel Adams spent many hours in the darkroom enhancing the lighting and clarity of their photos.

From time to time I will be adding more images of dancers to this page.  The process of extracting the image is very time consuming and hard on the eyes, so I only do this occasionally.  Check back from time to time or get on my email list for notification of new images.

 

War Dance

 

1 War Dance

This is my personal favorite and hangs in a place of honor in our house.  As I isolated the dancers from their surroundings, I started with images that clearly showed the dancer’s face.  After a while I realized that I fixated on the faces and related to the individuals more than the culture.   When I finished extracting this image, I felt that I had an image that speaks to the culture that the dancers want to preserve.  The gray radial background was chosen to give the impression of a time-tunnel.  A culture that has passed into history and yet is being preserved.

Hoop Dance

2 Hoop Dance

The Hoop Dance is about the wholeness or unity in all life.  The dancer is constantly transforming the image created by the hoops to depict all aspects of life.  One formation might represent a bird and another a wolf.  The dance ends with the hoops forming a globe.  The hoops themselves represent the circle of life.  The dancer starts with the hoops spread out on the ground.  He never bends over to pick them up but gathers them from the ground with his feet.  This is an amazing performance.

Crop Dance

3 Crop Dance

The Crop Dance is incredibly animated.  In fact it was very difficult to get a good shot of any portion of the dancer’s face.  Most of the time he is just a blur of flying fringe and ribbons.  Certainly someone is animating the costume but the viewer is hard pressed to identify the dancer or the actual location of his limbs.  The dance commemorates turning under old crops and preparing the ground for planting.

Hoop Dance Back

4 Hoop Dance

Fiesta Dancers

8 Fiesta Dancers

There are many things about this image that hold my attention.  There is an imbalance between the right and left sides that is further accentuated by the gap between the dancers.   The girl on the left seem to be out of sync with the girls on the right.  Everyone is looking to the right except the girl on the left.  The girl on the left seems to be lost in the moment and has a rare and captivating expression on her face.  The contrast between the girl and boy on the left is also intriguing - age, height, costume, movement.

7 Crop Dance Flow

7 Crop Dance Flow

The movement in this dance is so rapid that it is difficult to capture the feel in a single image.  This sequence of images takes me back to the feeling of awe that I experienced while observing this dance.

10 More Fiesta Dancers

10 More Fiesta Dancers

6 Fiesta Honeymoon

6 Fiesta Honeymoon

Although this young couple appear to be posing for this portrait, they were actually moving as part of their dance.  I later learned that they were newlyweds - thus the obvious glow.

5 War Dance Front

5 War Dance

9 Fiesta Dancer Flow

9 Fiesta Dancer Flow

Although these three images are in their proper temporal order going from left to right the movement looks like it should be going from right to left.

Each gallery image on this site has a reference number as well as a name.  By referencing both the name and number, there is less chance of miscommunication - at least with the respect to the image of interest.


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