Denver’s Dance Festival | Denver Dance Photography

I am so excited for the Presenting Denver Dance Festival that is happening this weekend! I have been working with an amazing group of volunteers to make this festival happen, for about two years. Now, it’s finally here! The dance festival will take place on June 23-24, 2018 at The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver. Together with the Newman Center, we will be presenting 15 local choreographers over 2 stages in one weekend of great Colorado dance.

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On the free, outdoor stage, see works by Colorado artists David Taylor’s Zikr Dance Ensemble, Mary Lynn Lewark, Maureen Breeze Dance Theater, Nile H. Russell, Nu-World Contemporary Danse Theatre, Parasol Arts, and Thomas Dance Project in the No Walls concert. This concert is free and open to all ages. View details about the artists here. The No Wall concert is this Saturday, June 23, at 4:30pm at The Boettcher Center Lawn on the University of Denver campus.

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On the main stage, see new works by Colorado artists Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement, Edgar L. Page, Gregory Gonzales, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Helanius J. Wilkins, Kristen Demaree, Moraporvida Contemporary Dance, and The Schiff Dance Collective in the New & Now concert. View details about the artists here. The New & Now concert is this Saturday, June 23, at 7pm and Sunday, June 24, at 2pm. These shows will take place in the Newman Center’s Byron Theatre. Get your tickets online or at the Newman Center Box Office.

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These photos are from a session we did to prepare for the festival. They’ve been used in the marketing materials to promote the festival, encourage dancer applications and sell tickets to the main stage performance.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Lyda | Colorado Senior Photography

This is my amazing cousin, Lyda! Over the summer, we were both visiting Chicago at the same time, so we planned a senior portrait session. We started at my aunt’s house north of the city and then went to the Illinois State Park nearby. The setting was a huge change from my normal Colorado senior photography. Everything was lush and green. The sunset was gorgeous, reflecting off all the water. And I forgot to bring bug spray so we got eaten alive by mosquitos. I don’t usually have to worry too much about those in the Rockies!

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I loved photographing in the fields and forests of northern Illinois, but I do think I would get tired of all the green if I did all my sessions there. I am so grateful to live in a state with so much variety. And, of course, I have a special place in my heart for urban senior and headshot sessions! All the colors and textures of downtown Denver make for some amazing backdrops for portraits.

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Lyda is my uncle by marriage’s niece from Ohio. We didn’t grow up together but I have many fond memories of her and her younger siblings spending the Fourth of July with us at my aunt and uncle’s place. There weren’t enough bedrooms for everyone so all the kids would sleep in tents by the lake after we watched the fireworks show and lit some of our own. I remember making jewelry with Lyda and her trying to guess how old I was. Haha!

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Now she’s a high school senior in Ohio and will be heading off to college soon. She got a soccer scholarship to Miami University, so we had to take some portraits of her in her soccer uniform! I don’t think anyone in our family has ever gotten a sports scholarship before. I’m so impressed by all her talent and hard work! Congrats Lyda and have a wonderful senior year!

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Looking for a fun, relaxed senior portrait experience? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Young Artist Welcome | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

As I wrap up editing on the Opera Colorado’s final concert for the season, the Spring Tea, I thought I should introduce you to these wonderful Young Artists by sharing their first concert of the season. Haha! I know, I know, I am very behind on my blogging. This is by design though since I plan the entire year of blogs each December. This means that my Colorado performing arts photography and all my other work gets shared six months to a year after I actually photograph it. I like this method because I can plan ahead and not have to stress about what to blog all year long. I also get to revisit sessions from last year! It’s always fun to look back and reminisce!

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Each year, Opera Colorado starts off their season with a concert to welcome the new cast of Young Artists. The Young Artist Welcome was held at the Studio Loft this season. I love this event because I get to photograph the Young Artists throughout the season and get to know them a little bit. It’s amazing to watch them grow and change from their first concert to their last. This Welcome concert is a great glimpse into who each of them are and it’s a great way to start the season.

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Every year, this little girl (in the photo above) comes to the Welcome concert and it’s so cute to see her enjoying the music and talking with the artists after the show. Her grandmother told me that she loves listening to opera in the car. I love that because of this concert, she gets to see opera performed live as well!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Electrical Engineer Yazan | Denver Headshot Photography

I love photographing passionate people. While most of my Denver and Boulder headshot clients are artists and entrepreneurs, anyone who is passionate about what they do is a perfect fit for me. I met Yazan at an Energy Storage Expo I was photographing for a colleague of mine, Kinser Studios. It was a huge conference but I ran into him a few times, while he was engaging with vendors, asking questions at seminars, and networking with his colleagues. It was very clear to me that he loves what he does.

Yazan works as an Electrical Engineer for American Electric Power in Columbus. While he was visiting Denver for the expo, he wanted to get some fun photos in the city. His mother’s birthday was coming up and he wanted to gift her a few portraits of himself. Isn’t that so sweet of him!?

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We met up after the expo, just outside the Colorado Convention Center. It was cloudy and rainy but that didn’t stop us from having a great portrait session. In fact, the rain really enhanced the color of everything and gave a very cool effect to the photos. Plus, we borrowed some cool umbrellas from the hotel Yazan was staying in and used them as fun props in some of the photos.

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The Colorado Convention Center and surrounding areas proved to be a great location. It’s modern and urban. There are lots of trees and plants around for a nature feel as well. And I just love the Big Blue Bear. It’s such an iconic Denver sculpture and it gives the photos a nice pop of color.

I loved working with Yazan and creating these fun portraits together. I know his mother with just love them and I hope his family will cherish them for a long time.

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Looking for a fun, relaxed portrait experience? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Dance Warriors – Climate Change | Chicago Dance Photography

The Dance Warriors project is an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. This project started as my response to our changing political climate and my desire to make an impact for the better. This session took place just a few weeks after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.

I usually try to schedule a photography session when I visit home over Thanksgiving break. This time, I knew I wanted to do a Dance Warriors session in a particular part of Chicago. There were a couple of old coal plants that were set to be demolished and I thought they would be the perfect backdrop for a session about climate change. This is a topic that Kelleigh McIntosh is very passionate about, and we were able to connect thanks to the power of the internet. At our session, we talked a lot about climate change deniers and the negative impact they can have on the planet, especially when they are in positions of power. The fact that the coal plants were coming down was a sign of change for the better but the recent election left us less than hopeful for the future.

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

Kelleigh Harman McIntosh graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance and Biology. She has performed works choreographed by Taylor Craver, Kiefer Otto, and J Lindsay Brown Dance. Kelleigh’s passion for choreography began to grow after premiering her work “Phantasmagoria” at the American College Dance Association. Since then, she has had the opportunity to present work at Eisenhower Dance’s New Dance Festival, choreograph for “Goliath” a dance film produced by Ben Richmond and work with Esoteric Dance Company through their choreographic mentorship program. Her goals as a choreographer include using movement as a vessel to explore an individual’s physical and emotional limitations through a collaborative process.

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Why are you passionate about climate change?

Our environment is important. Its health and stability majorly influence access to basic human needs such as fresh water and sustainable food sources. Although scientists and climatologists are able to convey research of environmental concerns, those messages are not always heard or understood.

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What do you think is the intersection between art and politics?

Dancers have the unique ability to communicate through a different type of physical and artistic voice. It is my hope that artists are able to spread information about climate change to a larger audience and promote the movement to heal our planet.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Want to be a part of Dance Warriors? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Dancer and Activist Pi DuVal | Denver Headshot Photography

One of the ways in which I volunteer my time is by donating my Denver headshot photography to Presenting Denver. Presenting Denver is a non-profit organization founded in 2013. Their mission is to support the art of dance through increased public exposure and the appreciation of movement as an innovative art form.

In the past, I’ve taken dance photos of members of the dance community that Presenting Denver features as part of their In the Spotlight series. This season, I took headshots for the spotlights, as well as the ambassadors for the organization. We did these portraits on the rooftop of the Beauvallon building, where the Presenting Denver offices are located. This location gave us some wonderful spots, with nature, architecture, and beautiful views of the city.

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Allegra “Pi” DuVal grew up dancing, performing, teaching, and choreographing in her mother’s dance studio in Crested Butte. Her passion for dance never faded and she now strives to use dance as a medium to spread kindness and solidarity.

One of the things that struck me most while I was reading Pi’s interview was her passion for giving back and activism in her community. If you’ve seen my new project, Dance Warriors, you know how important the intersection between politics, social justice, and the arts is to me. As Sutton Anker writes in her In the Spotlight interview, “Pi is involved with the Colfax Community Network teaching hip-hop to children of transient families and also teaches at Feel the Beat, a Denver area studio for the deaf and hard of hearing.” She also founded Dance is Love, in response to the rise in hate crimes during and after the 2016 election. They have performed for the Denver RAW Artist Showcase and are now the official dance company of Denver Pride Fest.

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Looking for a relaxed, fun headshot experience, with a lot of character? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Ancient Creatures | Boulder Performing Arts Photography

In the Boulder performing arts photography world, you run into a lot of tricky lighting situations. This show, part of Naropa University’s MFA Thesis Festival, had all of them in one. At points during the show, the only light source was a candle or flashlights or a strobe light. There was even a scene lit only by Christmas lights hung inside an umbrella. I loved all of the creative uses of light. The creators of the show did an excellent job using light to convey strong emotions. Plus, I’m always up for a fun lighting challenge!

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This show was centered around the ideas behind the zodiac. The main question posed by the performance is “Where are we going, and what will we be when we get there?” It explored the ways in which people can change through life experiences and the role that greater forces may factor into their lives. It was a stunning, moving, and surprisingly fun play!

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Director’s Note: “When I started working with the source material of the zodiac, I was more than a skeptic. The frame was perfect, but the source material lacked a certain scientific approach with which I felt comfortable. After my work with texts of Greek mythology, star charts, dice, anatomy, and my fellow creators, I am proud to say that we have built something out of this uncertainty, belief, and curiosity. This piece is the product of work, hope, and chance. The text and movement were created using chance systems, much like the creation of the universe.”

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Cast and Crew

Directed by: Michael Sater

Devised, written, and performed by: Michael Sater Rebecca Buckley Ashley Rice

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.