MODERN/modern Dance
Danica Paulos, Alvin Ailey

Howard Schatz Posted by Howard Schatz on Oct. 13, 2019


Over 30 years ago, and forever fascinated by dance and dancers, I began photographing members of the San Francisco Ballet in the studio as well as underwater.

I have continued to work on creating images of dance striving to reach beyond “usual” and “pretty,” challenging myself to discover imagery not just uncommon but unique and extraordinary; a formidable task.

This challenge is daunting because dancers are so often wonderful to look at and a joy for any artist to paint, sculpt, or photograph. Depending solely on their beauty and grace results in photographs that show up everywhere in countless numbers every year. Compounding the problem, dancers regularly post images of themselves on the internet, resulting in millions of dance photographs living in cyberspace. It is very difficult to stand out, even for professionals, and even harder to create something that hasn’t been seen countless times before.



Adding complication to the challenge of making something unique, a photograph is only as good as its weakest part. Great composition, lighting and gesture can only go so far with a dancer who is just pretty good. Therefore, to make a rare and spectacular image one needs a rare and spectacular dancer.



For my current project, MODERN/modern Dance, I’ve gone to the dancers of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater who are among the best in the world. This edition of my weekly Journal is about the marvelous Ailey Dancer, Danica Paulos.


Originally posted on the blog of Howard Schatz

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Howard SchatzHoward has received international acclaim for his work and is one of the most sought-after photographers working today.  Over the last 25 years 22 major books have been published of his work; he has won virtually every award in photography and has had over 100 museum and gallery exhibitions world-wide. He has made extraordinary images for such advertising clients as Ralph Lauren RLX, Escada, Sergio Tacchini, Nike, Reebok, Wolford, Etienne Aigner, Sony, Adidas, Finlandia Vodka, MGM Grand Hotel, Virgin Records, and Mercedes-Benz.

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