Mikhail Baryshinkov: Dancing Away at ContiniArtUK
The newest exhibition at the ContiniArtUK comprises of a selection of the photographic works of the dancer and dedicated artistic figure that is Mikhail Baryshinkov.
Aptly titled Dancing Away the Latvian graduate of the Vaganova Choreographic School and principle dancer for the world famous Kirov Ballet, has influence in both the dance arena as well as the arts more broadly. A leading figure in American modern dance, Baryshinkov directed and danced in the White Oak Dance Project and in 2005 opened the Baryshinkov Arts Center, New York, an organisation dedicated to giving a platform to young contemporary artists, musicians, dancers and creators.
Offering a documentative insight into his career experience and breadth of journey, Baryshinkov’s unique lens on the literally momentous performances make for vibrant imagery. Immaculately framed in uniform white, the colours are the defining features in each image. From the rehearsal room to the stage, his swirling, shutter-jolted stills fractured by movement have a metallic quality. Featuring cobalt blue backgrounds bracketing burnt orang, searing yellow costumes and icy white sprays of silver light, the drama in the motion is palpable.
The, at times, harsh light captured gives the dancing forms a crispness, which seems to articulate the fluidity of dance that is resistant to the format of the static photograph. However, far from stills of performance they are all action shots, bordering on the metamorphic, the bodies of the dances are frozen and transformed.
They are choreographic bricks, which are almost invisible to the viewer when faced with the continuum of a dance performance. What’s most interesting about them is their poise and deliberate timing, probably only possible due to the experience and knowledge of the photographer.
The large glass front of ContiniArtUK creates an icy feeling of polish and immaculate energy that is fitting for images born from the stringent and disciplined dance world.
Dancing Away is at ContiniArtUK until 31st January 2015, for further information visit here.