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Dance By Design at Village Gate | Rochester Dance Photographer


I got to do another Dance by Design session while I was traveling. This time I was in Rochester, home of my alma mater, celebrating my anniversary with my girlfriend. We met at school and started dating on Halloween, so this year, we went back to see the changing leaves, see friends, and celebrate.

This one also involved some personal connections. N’Jelle is a good friend of my aunt and uncle and her company, Futurpointe, was the first dance company I photographed. That performance really sparked my interest in dance photography. And Jake Martin is a graduate of the same school I went to and I just love his work.

Jake Martin

What was your inspiration/thought process when you designed these pieces?

My greatest inspiration that I think links all the work together is a fascination with and admiration for the “micro” and the “macro” and the connection between the two. I most often find this connection in the natural geometry of micro-organisms and macro-organisms. Nature follows a certain set of rules and by mimicking those rules and forms not only can I create something relating to a specific thing, but to the principles and formulas connecting many objects or creatures.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Defining your own aesthetic is difficult, as we have a myopic view of our own designs and they are always changing. I’d probably describe the work as contemporary goldsmithing and the aesthetic as vibrant, geometric, and natural.

What is your favorite thing about Rochester?

It would be difficult to pinpoint what I like about this city. I like its proximity to other cities as well as nature. Probably most importantly I appreciate the efforts of the city and the citizens to promote, not only craft, but small business in general. I have many clients and suppliers right here in the city, and I appreciate having a personal connection to those businesses. The cost of living is low which is great for up-and-coming artists such as myself. As much as I love the 6 months of grey, frigid days on the tundra, I could not see myself having stayed here if it were not for the huge amount of artists an art events. It rally is a great place to be an artist.

What does fashion do for you/mean to you?

I don’t know what fashion means to me. I’m not sure what fashion is in general.What I am interested in is body adornment. It is, as far as we know, unique to homo sapiens. I am fascinated by the innate urge so many of us have to compliment and decorate our own forms with jewelry, body modification, and clothing.

N’Jelle Gage-Thorne

Tell me about the company or school are you associated with?

I am the Artistic Director of FuturPointe Dance. I’m also a choreographer & performer with the company.

How would you describe your style of dance?

The movement vocabulary is called Reggae Ballet™. It is an ever-evolving Caribbean- American dance genre created by my husband & myself. The performance style is born from a sophisticated fusion of traditional and modern Caribbean dance forms, unique movement & vignettes of provocative performance art.

What is your favorite thing about Rochester?

I enjoy the vibrant arts community in Rochester. I absolutely love that on any given day, there are more people at live music, dance or theater performances than there are at the movies. I love that this mid sized city has a small town feel, tons of live events, festivals & is has very progressive communities of people.

What does dance do for you/mean to you?

To be able to dance has always been so important to me. I love that it is non verbal. Human communication is dominated by words & the need to be understood. I enjoy that i can explore an entire concept, theme or character without being verbal…or linear…or direct… or clear! In fact, I enjoy the opportunity to be mysterious or complex.








Dancer: N’Jelle Gage-Thorne

instagram: @futur_pointeur


Designer: Jake Martin

instagram: @jakemartinmetalsmith

facebook: /jakemartinjewelry


Makeup Artist: Shoranda Iyez

facebook: /paintingfacesbyshoranda


Location: Village Gate, Rochester, NY

I am always looking to collaborate with more dancers and designers. If you’re interested in working with me and other local artists, send me a message!

Want engaging dance portraits for you or your company? Find out more about Creative Sessions and email me at I would love to help tell your story through dance and photography. 


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