Playing in the shadows….

certainly makes life interesting.  More so when you playing in the shadow of another artist.  It’s hard for me to not be involved in my husband’s creative concept.   My role is to support his vision.  I make suggestions and do what he needs me to do.

This new genre has been bouncing around his head for years… turning his still photography into a dance performance.  Although he has never been the artistic creator of a dance program – years of working in theater as a lighting designer gives him artistic background, working for various dance companies, gives him more experience, being a visual artist fills in the rest of what it takes to move into a new venue.   What finally brought this vision into a work in progress was a conversation he had with one of his former dance models, Juan Michael Porter II.  Juan was excited about collaborating on the project after seeing a “brief”  said this is beautiful, such a simple premise, easy to follow.    So Jene started setting things in motion.  He had the concept and 2 of the 3 dancers.

Not hearing back from Juan is a tad unnerving but dancers are very caught up in their own daily routines.  That is not holding Jene back from moving forward.  Masha, the other dance artist has been working on her part.  I am helping to design her costume according to Jene’s vision.  He has ideas that are morphing and testing what works and what doesn’t is where we stand.  Two weeks ago, I shot Masha as Jene looked on, then he changed the lighting to conform more to the mood he was trying to set and we both clicked off a few more shots.

When working with a slew of creative people, it is important to remember that this is Jene’s concept and although he is open to suggestions that he has to stay true to what his visions is.  He has spent countless hours listening to music for the opening score.  His original thought seems to work best with his concept and Rite of Spring was to be his choice but after putting that and Masha in motion, Jene reverted to listening to more and more music.   How do you know you’ve selected the song with the undertones you’re looking for?  I guess when you close your eyes and can envision the dance.

I put a slideshow video together with way too many images so that Jene could edit to his heart’s content.  He’d been working on it for days.  Moving photos around, retouching, cropping…     He is still searching for a trained dancer for the part of Eve and if he doesn’t hear back from Juan, he may be in need of the male lead.

_MG_5917 _MG_5979 _MG_5992

© Mary Durante Youtt

© Mary Durante Youtt

Our second go round with the dancer was Wednesday,  with the new music, a couple more costume adjustments and direction.  Trying different movements and video taping to see what works and what doesn’t.   Masha needs to see what she is doing and since we are working in small cramped quarters without a wall of mirrors she has no idea what it looks like.


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Filed under dance performances, fine art nudes, Jene Youtt, Juan Michael Porter, photography

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