Les Danseurs

(Another posting about the male body, but with some fine photography.)

From the models.com site on the 11th, a piece by Jonathan Shia, “Matthew Brookes’ Ballet Dancers”. Highlights:

Flip through the pages of Les Danseurs, the photographer Matthew Brookes’ new book devoted to the male dancers of the Paris Opéra Ballet, and you might take him for a lifelong fan of the artform. The intimate black-and-white photos offer a personal and powerful look at their bodies, shaped by lifetimes devoted to dance, combining both grace and power as the best performers do. But Brookes, a frequent contributor to various Vogues, Interview, and Vanity Fair who has also lensed campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Burberry, and Berluti, says he knew nothing about dance before being introduced to one of the dancers through a casting director he was working with, a chance encounter that eventually blossomed into this monograph.

… The photographs, shot in a clean studio against a rough cloth backdrop, are guided by an abstract and almost sculptural sense of form. There are no arabesques or pirouettes, just shapes and compositions reminiscent of flowers and what Brookes calls his initial inspiration of “birds falling from the sky,” with hints of Rodin’s muscular sculpture thrown in. The photographer says that his driving instinct was to capture the dancers’ strength as athletes, rather than following the stereotypical ideas of classical ballet as “sensitive” and “ethereal.”

Three of the photos:

(#1)

(#2)

(#3)

(Hat tip to Chis Ambidge and Mike McKinley.)

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