Fugitive Gesture: Masterpieces of Dance Photography

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Dance is one of the photographer's most formidable challenges. From the ealry days of prima ballerinas holding their poses for minutes on end in the photographic studio, the masters of the art have sought to capture not merely the beauty of the dancer or the character of the dance but the transient liberation of the body and spirit that is common to all dancing. Their success in overcoming the limitations of an immobile, silent and two-dimensional medium has resulted in a succession of masterpieces that will ...
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More About This Book

Overview

Dance is one of the photographer's most formidable challenges. From the ealry days of prima ballerinas holding their poses for minutes on end in the photographic studio, the masters of the art have sought to capture not merely the beauty of the dancer or the character of the dance but the transient liberation of the body and spirit that is common to all dancing. Their success in overcoming the limitations of an immobile, silent and two-dimensional medium has resulted in a succession of masterpieces that will fascinate all who have ever been captivated by the magic of dance.

Over two hundred magnificently reproduced duotone plates reveal dance in all its aspects - from many countries and many periods, from classical ballet to the can-can, from rock-and-roll to the Lindy Hop - photographed wherever people waltz, tango, tap-dance, stomp, jive or simply kick up their heels for joy. The great dancers are there - Nijinsky, Lifar and Fred Astaire, Pavlova, Fonteyn and Isadora Duncan among numerous other immortals; but so too are the anonymous, captured in a Parisian nightclub or at the Roxy, New York, in a street cafe in Amsterdam or simply dancing alone by the seashore.

William A. Ewing's unrivaled knowledge of the field has enabled his selection of images for the book to range as widely as possible. The list of photographers represented is also astonishingly diverse. Some, like Gordon Anthony or Barbara Morgan, are known primarily for their dance photographs, but most are celebrated simply as great photographers: Beeaton, Brassai, Genth, Steichen, Brandt, Man Ray and Mapplethorpe all contribute memorable images. The introduction discusses the photographs not only as documents of dance and its history but aslo as important examples of the photographer's art. Detailed notes on the plates provide the essential background information about the dancer and photographer.

This is a sumptuous and authoritative survey of a major photographic genre and a celebration of its success in capturing in permanent form the most ephemeral of the arts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500278062
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 10.37 (w) x 12.59 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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