24 January 2013 at 4.59pm | Comment on this article
Photographer Rick Guest at his exhibition of photos featuring Royal Ballet dancers © ROH/Chris Shipman, 2013
A new photography exhibition focusing on artists of The Royal Ballet runs this weekend (Friday 25 - Sunday 27 January) at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden.
The exhibition, entitled 'Now is all there is – Bodies in Motion', was created by renowned international photographer Rick Guest in collaboration with leading fashion stylist Olivia Pomp. Royal Ballet artists and creative team members depicted include Marianela Nuñez, Thiago Soares, Edward Watson, Zenaida Yanowsky and Wayne McGregor.
'The exhibition has evolved over the course of two to three years,' explained Rick, 'we’ve built up this fantastic collection of images, and when Kevin O’Hare saw it, he thought an exhibition would be a fitting way to mark his first season.'
The exhibition, which takes its name from a quote by choreographer George Balanchine, is described as a modern take on the classical world of ballet and a coming together of three separate disciplines: photography, dance and fashion.
'Balanchine’s plea of "now is all there is, get on with it, just do it now" is equally as important for dancers as it is for photography, which is a one-click moment,' continued Rick, 'likewise for contemporary fashion. In this exhibition, all these things come together.'
Stylist Olivia, who has worked with Rick on a wide range of international commissions, used evocative and unconventional fashion to capture the dancers’ abilities in a different light, away from the main stage.
'The whole idea was to take the dancers outside their comfort zone, which was why we shot them away from the opera house,' she explained. 'The costumes, whether wings, or a cape, or big skirts, give another element and become part of the body.”
The images highlight the physicality of ballet, capturing the dancers in fleeting moments of time to illustrate the balance and poise demanded by dance.
'We didn’t have choreographed sequences when we were shooting. We just asked the dancers to give us what they wanted. They weren’t performing to an audience of 2,300, they weren’t doing it on a sprung floor. They were dancing in a studio, on a hard floor, in front of four people. As such, they became portraits rather than being about choreography'
The exhibition is taking place at The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, London, WC2H 9HQ and is free to attend.
It will be open to the public on Friday 25 January 10am – 4pm, Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 January 10am – 6pm. All pieces are for sale and limited to six prints each. View and buy prints online.