Dance Festival 2018 | Denver Dance Photography

Denver is getting its very own Dance Festival next summer! Presenting Denver is hosting the Presenting Denver Dance Festival with The Newman Center in June 2018 and I am so looking forward to it! The jurors are deciding what companies will perform as I write this. As a Presenting Denver ambassador, I serve on the festival committee that is planning the two day event. I also serve as a photographer ambassador, along with Amanda Tipton.

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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 who volunteered for the shoot. We photographed three sets of dancers, in stations. We each photographed each dancer or company separately and then we had them collaborate together.

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These photos are from the first set of dancers, Michelle Bernier and Cali Nass. Michelle is a contemporary dancer, while Cali does hip hop and modern fusion dance. It was so fascinating to see these two dancers, who had never met, and had completely different dance styles, improv and collaborate together. They made some pretty incredible photos!

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Exdo was the perfect location for this photo shoot. We had access to the main indoor space all day, and the outdoor space, in the morning. The light and textures inside was so diverse and fun to play with. It changed throughout the day which gave each dancer a different look to their photos. For the collaboration part of the day, we went outside, in the graffitied alley behind the Exdo Event Center. When we were there, new murals were being painted, so the images had a cool “work in progress” feel to them.

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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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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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Wild Heart Dance | Boulder Dance Photography

A while back I started following Wild Heart Dance on Instagram. I loved their feed and thought to myself, “wow, it would be so great to photograph these guys!” In April, they reached out to me and asked me if I could photograph their dress rehearsal for “The Beloved.” How perfect! I love being a Boulder dance photographer and having the opportunity to work with local performers.

The piece was presented in collaboration with Kendall Perry Music. The band performed on stage with the dancers and Kendall even joined the dance during a percussion piece. The show was performed at Naropa Performing Arts Center, where I capture the shows for the Naropa Theater Program. My contact person at Narpoa, was actually in the band for this performance. That’s how you know Boulder is a small town!

These artists just exude strength and power. When I look back at these photos, I see a group of kick-ass, passionate women ready to take on whatever life throws at them. The show was innovative, moving, and powerful.

The skirts played a big role in the piece. The dancers covered themselves and other dancers with them, twirled them around, and threw them about. They made some really beautiful shapes and patterns. The lighting also played an important part in the dance. It shifted between a purple cast and a warm, bright wash over the stage. The lights were used to isolate dancers during solo parts and to create runways for the whole group.

I love when live music is incorporated into a performance. The band and the dancers shared the stage, while keeping their separation. I certainly had fun getting creative shots with both of them! The Beloved was an excellent show and a joy to photograph!

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Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

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Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

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Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

Boulder Dance Company, Boulder Dance Performance, Boulder Dance Photography, Boulder Performance Photography

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.

Amber on the High Line | New York Dance Photographer

The last time I was in New York City, I reconnected with a few friends from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. I did dance sessions with three of them while I was in town and Amber was the last dance session I did before heading home. It was a little chilly, so we met in the Chelsea Market to look over outfits and plan everything out. Then, we went up to the High Line to start shooting!

The High Line is such an awesome urban trail. It’s an industrial/nature walk built on the old elevated train tracks and runs through Chelsea in Manhattan. The last time, I was there, they had only finished the first couple sections of it. The last part goes up to the water and overlooks a rail yard. It was really cool to see the whole thing completed.

Amber did an amazing job at this session. Of course, I knew she would because this isn’t the first time I’ve photographed her. She was my student spotlight during the Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow. Check out that session here! These sessions were two and a half years apart so it was amazing to see her again and see how she’s grown as an artist.

In that time, she has graduated from Julliard and founded a dance non-profit, Art Belongs to People. She also just finished her role in the Cirque du Soleil show “Paramour” on Broadway. I got all sorts of gossip about life as a Broadway dancer. And she was learning some aerials skills from the other dancers while she was there. What an awesome woman!

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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.

 

Caleb in Brooklyn | New York Dance Photography

The last time I was in New York City, I reconnected with a few friends from Jacob’s Pillow Dance. I did dance sessions with three of them while I was in town.

Caleb was one of them. The year I was at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, he performed with Dorrance Dance (I photographed them here). Last summer, he went back to perform with his own tap company Caleb Teicher and Company. Caleb has been touring the world teaching and performing with his new company. Plus, he told me about a secret hidden brunch place that was amazing!

Tap has always been one of the most challenging dance forms for me to photograph since it’s so fast paced and unpredictable. But the challenge is what makes it so fun and intriguing to me! For this session, I wanted to find some creative ways to photograph tap dance. I tried to focus on the feet, and I got some fun shots that way, but Caleb is so great at incorporating his whole body and moving fluidly, so I did a bunch of wide shots as well. Overall, I think we made some great portraits that show Caleb’s talent and the beautiful neighborhood of Willamsburg.

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We found this really cool mural outside a shoe store and Caleb was already wearing some green leather Chucks. Perfection!

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I loved being able to incorporate the skyline and shore into the photos. This is one of the things I love about New York City. The skyline is one the greatest features of my hometown of Chicago so I love any city that can show theirs off as well.

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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.