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.

Dancer and Activist, Pi DuVal

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.

Dance Warriors – Gentrification | New York Dance Photography

I am so excited to finally share these photos! This is the very first session of my new project Dance Warriors! Dance Warriors is an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. These photos were actually taken over a year ago, but now that the project has been announced, I can show you the first photo shoot!

Anna Rogovoy and I know each other from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. We both worked in the marketing department when I was an intern at the festival. Anna has been using dance to explore a lot of social and political issues. For this session, she wanted to focus on gentrification. We took photos in her neighborhood, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, as well as in her apartment.

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Anna Rogovoy and I’m a dancemaker and performer. My early training was in classical ballet, but I made a shift to contemporary/modern/postmodern technique/methodologies when I attended Bennington College for my undergraduate degree. I have lived in Brooklyn, New York for about five years and have presented my work throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as upstate New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. I am the child of entrepreneurial arts professionals and the older sister of a producer/DJ. And I am the great-granddaughter of an incredibly powerful woman who emigrated (alone) to New York City from a small village in Poland, narrowly escaping execution.

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Why are you passionate about gentrification?

Gentrification is something that I reckon with daily as a white person living in a predominantly non-white neighborhood — one that is rapidly undergoing transformation. It’s my home, it’s a mile away from where my mother was born, yet I am a newcomer, perhaps even an unwelcome one. Displacement and ghettoization are familiar concerns, having grown up with stories of the Holocaust, and I don’t want to be complicit in anything remotely like that.

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How has dance helped you express yourself?

My work deals very directly with the body as source material; I am interested in how movement patterns and habits emerge and shift, in how memory and sensation inhabit form. I hope that by turning the lens towards the body I can highlight our shared experiences as thinking beings housed in smart, curious flesh-bags. I have also found great freedom and power as a survivor of sexual assault in reclaiming agency over my own body through performance and physical training.

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

I think that because artists so often work outside of a political and/or capitalist regime, we are able to put forth opinions and assessments that someone whose success relies on a more conventional power structure might hesitate to voice. In the same way that we are not supported by our government or our corporations, we are released from supporting them, or claiming to. We ask questions that others cannot.

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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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New Project! | Dance Warriors

I’ve launched an exciting new dance photography project. It’s an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. The project is called Dance Warriors!

In the last few years, like many people, I have become more tuned in to what is going on in our country and in our world. As I’ve become increasingly aware of political and social issues, I have strived to make change happen. However, I’ve also felt overwhelmed and helpless at times. It seemed that every day I would wake up to another tragedy and it was difficult to focus my efforts. What could I alone do to make an impact?

At the same time, I started to feel less creative and less motivated to make my art. I knew I needed to do something to respond to what was happening around me and dance photography had to be the medium. I began this project to shed light on political issues that affect all of us.

I started by reaching out to dancers who wanted their voices to be heard. In most cases, the dancer chooses an issue they feel passionately about. Each session highlights a different issue, expressed by the location and the dancer’s movements.

So far, I’ve photographed three dancers for three different social and environmental issues. And in three different cities too! Here’s a sneak peek at the Dance Warrior series to date. If you are a dancer who is interested in participating in Dance Warriors, please email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com with the issues you are most passionate about and a photo of yourself dancing.

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Jessie Westbrook in Denver – Oil Industry

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Anna Rogovoy in New York City – Gentrification

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Kelleigh Harman in Chicago – Climate Change

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Kelleigh on Climate Change

Anna on Gentrification

Jessie on the Oil Industry – coming soon

Andrea on Holistic Health – coming soon

Want engaging dance 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.

Women’s March on Denver | Colorado Photographer

On Saturday, January 21st 2017, I marched on Denver with my brother and two friends. We joined almost 200,000 people, marching through the streets of Denver.

This was probably the most positive, respectful march I’ve ever been to. I saw a woman with a backpack that said First Aid on it. Everyone cheered any time a helicopter flew above us. I drove past the park after the march was over and it was spotless, aside from a few barricades left over. People were asking each other to pose for photos, all along the way. Everyone was kind, respectful, and caring. It felt incredible to be a part of such a big movement and moment in our history.

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The most emotional, inspirational, moving part of the day was that hundreds of thousands of people in other counties, across the world, marched with us and for us. People who will never be directly effected by most of our laws and policies, protested the ones that could hurt people they will never meet, on the other side of the world. Click here to see a great compilation of photos from marches around the world.

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This is absolutely my favorite photo of the day. It was so incredible to see young kids participate in the march. It was especially inspiring to see kids with their own signs and outfits, laughing and smiling and chanting. This supergirl wasn’t just along for the ride. She clearly knows the power of girls!

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I just love the sentiment of this sign. We are the storm!

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The most important thing to take away from this event is that this is the start of a marathon. From here, we move forward, we work harder, we keep fighting.

  • We have to give what we can (time, money, skills, resources) to organizations like the ACLU, CAIR, and Planned Parenthood as well as to candidates running in local elections.
  • Stay vigilant and informed. With the spread of fake news and other lies, it is so important to stay informed, find sources we can trust, fact check, and be skeptical of un-cited information.
  • We need to engage in conversation, even when it’s uncomfortable (especially if it’s uncomfortable), so that we expand our own views and help inform others.
  • We must vote! Midterm elections are in two years. There may be local elections before then. We need to vote any time we get the chance.
  • Write and call your representatives. Voting is not the end of your part in democracy. You still have influence and power to change laws and government policies. When enough people write and call about the same issue, it absolutely can pressure a representative enough to take action. To start, here are the phone numbers for Colorado Senator Cory Gardner. womens-march-denver, denver-social-justice, denver-event-photographer, denver-womens-photographer, denver-womens-march-photos
  • If you can, run for office. There are plenty of small, local government positions across the country that need filling. Many of them don’t even require a huge time commitment, so you can keep your day job.
  • Comment below with your suggestions on how to move forward and make waves.

Interested in working with me? Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.