Park Hill Dance Collective in the Rain | Denver Dance Photography

Denver weather can change in an instant, which can make planning sessions a bit tricky. But I love Denver dance photography in all kinds of weather. I had a creative session with Park Hill Dance Collective planned for a Sunday in the Fall at City Park. A half hour before the session, Karlyn called me because it was pouring out. She knew her company dancers would be fine with dancing in the rain but we had also scheduled headshots for her youth company at the same session and she didn’t want the kids to get soaking wet and catch colds. We almost moved this session to a dryer location at the last minute but I am so glad we didn’t. We missed all the downpours and just had a light mist the whole time. Plus there were plenty of overhangs to duck under and places to run in to stay warm.

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This rainy, foggy day proved to be quite beautiful for our creative session with Park Hill Dance Collective. We did the last Collective shoot a few years ago, and they needed some updated portraits and photos from their new pieces. City Park is an awesome location to do a session of any kind. For Park Hill, it was perfect since it’s just a few blocks away from their studio. Karlyn and the company have always been very connected to their neighborhood, so I’m so glad we were able to incorporate that into our session this time.

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City Park has some great natural areas, but being the city kid that I am, I always gravitate toward the architectural features. We started out behind the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where there is a super cool sculpture (I’m a sucker for public art!) and some fun windows. The male dancers could only stay for the first part of the session, so the ladies and I had some fun at the end. We went down to the lake, where there is this lovely little retaining wall and a great view of the fountain and boathouse. I thought we might get some epic skyline views too, but by the time we got there the fog was so thick, you couldn’t see the buildings anymore! I think we got some pretty epic photos none-the-less.

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I had to include this blooper, just for fun!

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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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Summer Moving Project | Denver Dance Photography

I love being able to capture talented artists of all ages. Denver dance photography is my way of interpreting the creativity of local performing artists and create everlasting memories out of their art. These photos can be used by the company to promote their show and their school, as well as by the performers for their portfolio. They also serve as a wonderful memento for the dancers and their parents. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to photograph a student production in Broomfield, Colorado and I was blown away by the performance.

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Summer Moving Project is Colorado Conservatory of Dance‘s annual summer showcase. Colorado Conservatory of Dance has dance classes for students from ages one to adulthood. Their studios are in Broomfield, just down the street from where I used to live! They have two main performances each year, their Nutcracker performance and the Summer Moving Project. This is the students’ chance to show off what they’ve been learning throughout the school year. The middle and high school students performed in a beautiful multi-piece show at the Broomfield Auditorium, in July.

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I was so impressed by the skill and creativity of these young dancers. They bring so much passion to their performances. Everything, from the costumes to the music and lighting was professional and well thought out. The pieces were fun, emotional, silly, and upbeat. There were various pieces performed by the different age groups and the show ended with a final piece involving all the students in the show. Overall, it was an exceptional show!

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The image above is one of my favorites from the show. I love the layering of the three dancers and the strong emotion they each evoke in their movement. The lighting adds an additional level of drama to this dance photo.

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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

Presenting Denver Dance Festival | Denver Dance Photography

Denver is getting its very own Dance Festival next summer! Presenting Denver and The Newman Center are co-hosting the Presenting Denver Dance Festival. The Festival will take place in June of 2018 and I could not be more excited! As a Presenting Denver ambassador, I serve on the festival committee that is planning the two day event. I also get to serve as a photographer ambassador, alongside Amanda Tipton.

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Here’s what Presenting Denver has to say about the festival.

“The 2018 Presenting Denver Dance Festival, co-presented by Presenting Denver and The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, will be a compilation of world premieres by performing artists, dancers, and choreographers living in the state of Colorado. It will take place on June 23-24, 2018. Selected new works will be premiered in the Byron Theatre. There will be additional dance activities over the weekend and throughout the year. Tickets for the Presenting Denver Dance Festival go on sale November 6, 2017, on the Newman Center Presents website.”

I was just at the Newman Center for an event this morning and I was reminded of what a beautiful space it was. I cannot wait to see the festival hosted there!

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In preparation for the announcement of the festival, Amanda, Leslie Merrill, a Presenting Denver videographer ambassador, and I did a photo shoot at the Exdo Event Center with local dancers. We photographed three sets of dancers, in stations. These images are from when Samba Colorado and Abby Bural came in for their photoshoots. Abby is a Jazz and Lyrical dancer and Samba Colorado is a Brazilian Dance company. Photographing everyone together was really fun. Together, they found a way to combine their styles and work together.

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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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At A Crossroads Rehearsal | Denver Dance Photography

Park Hill Dance Academy’s At A Crossroads dress rehearsal was just beautiful. A couple months earlier, we did a promotional creative session for this show, which was so much fun. Park Hill used those photos to promote the show on social media, and one of the images was used for the show’s poster. The student’s parents were so excited. Many of them helped out at the promo shoot and some of them came to watch the end of the dress rehearsal too.

At A Crossroads was performed at the Vintage Theater in Aurora, Colorado. In the first half of the show, all the students and a few company members danced together in a beautiful, moving piece. Some parts were performed by the younger students, some by the older students, and in some parts, everyone was dancing together on stage. It was really great to see students from different classes coming together for the show. I loved that they all had their lace dresses in different colors as well.

The second half of the show was comprised of multiple, shorter pieces, some by the Academy students and some by the company members. Each piece brought a different emotion to the show and they all complimented each other well. This second half started off with the slower, more melancholy feel of the first half, but got gradually more joyful and vibrant. By the end of the show, everyone was on stage, in fun, bright colors and having a big dance party. One of my favorite pieces, was lit by tiny candles the students held in their hands and danced with. (Don’t worry, they weren’t real candles.) It created a really beautiful glow.

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

Stepping Out | Boulder Dance Photography

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to photograph a show by one of the biggest dance companies in the area. Boulder Ballet‘s show “Stepping Out” was a joyful, vibrant work. I was asked by Eli Akerstein to photograph the show alongside him. It can be very helpful to get a couple different perspectives at a dress rehearsal. I sat up in the seats, in the center to get lots of wide shots of the show, while Eli was up close, getting some interesting angles.

This show was a world premier of contemporary works. There were three pieces and they were each uniquely different from each other. The first piece was a light, classical piece full of pastels and fun interactions. This piece was accompanied by live music from Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. The last piece was bright and upbeat, with an Irish vibe to it. There was lots of plaid and even some Irish step dancing.

While I normally gravitate toward anything vibrant and colorful, the second piece was my favorite. It was moody. It was emotional. It was dark, full of tension, and had the perfect amount of weirdness. It was set to an original piece of electronic music called Light Fandango created by Robert North. As much as I love color, weird is my favorite and when it comes to dance photography, tension is everything.

This show had something for everyone and definitely left you feeling happy, which was the whole point. The artistic director, Ana Claire, spoke before the show and noted that “Stepping Out” was created to bring joy to an emotional time post-election, without ignoring the problems at hand. I think it did a wonderful job and it certainly lifted my spirits.

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

At A Crossroads Promo | Denver Dance Photography

One Sunday morning in February, about a dozen kids and a bunch of adults woke up at the crack of dawn and started running through the middle of the street. Did they all go crazy? Was there something in the water? Nope. They were just dancers.

Park Hill Dance Academy and I planned out this elaborate dance creative session to promote their show, At A Crossroads (get tickets here!). We wanted to convey that theme of being at a crossroads in life, of decision making and turning points.

Production photography is important for a new show (check out the photos from the dress rehearsal here). They are great for press, future marketing, and for your dancer’s portfolios. Promo sessions, however, are essential marketing pieces for an upcoming show or event. They can be used before the show opens, to attract more audience members and increase hype around the piece. Since these can be done much farther in advance than rehearsal photos, they can have a greater effect on ticket sales.

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Mary Chase Doll is one of the the guest choreographers for this work and she had the idea to do the photo shoot at the intersection by the dance studio. We had parents pushing the crosswalk buttons and watching for cars. I was up on a huge ladder, and Mary was shouting directions at the dancers from off camera. It was really fun to see everything come together to create Mary’s vision for the poster. The final poster turned out beautifully!

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We all had a super fun morning and got some really cool photos! I always love the behind the scenes shots too. You can see a behind the scenes video my assistant took, on my Instagram and Facebook feeds! Here are a few of the dancers practicing their moves and Karlyn talking to her students.

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

Aerial Dance in Colorado Springs | Colorado Dance Photographer

I have always wanted to do an urban aerial dance session, so when Sadie and I met up for our photo shoot in Colorado Springs, we started wandering around the city looking for a place to set up. Well, it turns out the cops weren’t as excited about our idea. We started by going to a fire house and asking if they could help up with our project. They said no, so we kept searching. We finally found the perfect bridge to suspend the silks from and just as Sadie was finished tying all the knots and making sure they were secure, the police pulled up. They kindly told us to leave so we went to a nearby park instead. At the park, there was a really cool, vine-covered structure so we set up there. Before ending our session, Sadie did some dancing on land as well.

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Want dance portraits that show off your creativity? Find out more about Creative Sessions and email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through dance and photography.