Wild Heart Dance | Colorado Dance Photography

Colorado dance photography is all about creativity. I like to refer to myself as a translator of art. My job, first and foremost, is to document the movement and emotion of the performers hiring me. that probably doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of room for creativity on my part, but it is so much more than that. Everything can be interpreted in different ways, by different viewers, so my job is to interpret what is in front of me, from my perspective. I then translate that into a new medium – two dimensional, still photography. It’s always exciting to see new works, new ways of moving, new ways of expressing, and to be the one to translate that to others.

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I was so excited when Wild Heart Dance started describing their vision for this session. Jumping, falling, dancing in water, the flatirons in the background, and tall grasses in the foreground. This session had it all! Wild Heart was in the midst of experimenting with tumbling and creating new work around it. They brought their mats and blocks to the session and we found ways to hide them from the camera, in the grasses. Then it was time to get wet! I made sure to bring my rainboots so I could wade in the water with the dancers. They ended up having a water splashing fight, which was so much fun to capture. I also ended up with an X shaped sunburn on my back that stuck around for months. It was totally worth it!

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We did lots of individual portraits in addition to the dancing photos. We took headshots at the beginning of the session, then right after coming out of the water, and again at the end of the session. I love seeing them all lined up together below.

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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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Revolutions | Denver Dance Photography

I have been photographing Park Hill Dance Collective and Academy for a number of years now. When their yearly production, an evening of pieces performed by the Collective dancers and Academy dancers, was approaching they asked if I could photograph is. I love Denver dance photography and I really wanted to see and photograph this show, but I knew I would be out of town on the dates they needed me.

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That’s when Amanda came in! Amanda Tipton and I work together a lot throughout the year. Anytime, one of us cannot photograph a show or event, we call up the other one to help us out. Amanda was able to be my associate photographer for the event. She photographed the show, then sent the photos to me to edit and deliver. This works out really well because my clients don’t have to deal with a new business, new contracts, or new pricing. And their events are still covered even if I’m unavailable. Plus, I only hire associates I trust to photograph at the same level as my own work.

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I really wish I had been in town the see this show myself! Looking through the photos to edit them was so much fun because I was really seeing this work for the first time. It looks like an amazing show! I always love how Park Hill combines their studio and company dancers into one performance.

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I also thought it was really cool that the male dancers wore long, red skirts in one of the pieces. I was talking to another male dancer last year who was upset that there are so few opportunities men have to dance in flowing clothing. He felt that a big part of the movement could be missing with tight-fitting clothes. So, I was so excited to see the whole company, men and women, in flowing skirts during this production!

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Denver kids perform in Revolutions dance showcase
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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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Dancer Luciana Da Silva | Denver Dancer Headshots

I’ve talked a lot about my work for Presenting Denver. One of my roles there is to take Denver dancer headshots. Each year, Presenting Denver chooses dance artists in the Denver metro area to feature in their In the Spotlight series. I take headshots for many of them to be used alongside an interview. 

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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One of the featured artists from the season was Luciana Da Silva. After moving to the United States from Brazil, Luciana didn’t initially think of herself as a dancer. After training on her own in belly dance and flamenco, she started looking for ways to honor her own culture and rediscovered Brazillian dance. Luciana now performs and teaches Brazilian dance, specifically samba, which celebrates femininity, and forró, a fast paced partner dance. 

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Luciana is focused on teaching the culture and history behind each dance form, not just the dance itself. She feels they are inextricably linked and cannot be learned separately. “Women want the glamorous look of samba with the feathers and bikini, and to become this feminine, sensual goddess. Couples want the high energy and intricate partnering of forró. But it’s helpful to have cultural understanding.”

Read Luciana’s interview with Rebekah West, for Presenting Denver’s In the Spotlight series here: http://presentingdenver.org/in-the-spotlight-2017/luciana-da-silva/

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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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Dance Warriors – Holistic Health | Boulder 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 is my way to use Boulder dance photography to raise awareness about the issues that face us today.

I have done a few session where I chose the topic and found a dancer after deciding on the topic, location, and all the details. However, my vision for this project has always been the opposite. My goal with Dance Warriors was to let the project be a space where dancers can collaborate with me to express what they are most passionate about. That was how we approached this session.

Andrea Jayne Martin reached out to me, wanting to be a part of Dance Warriors and the topic she was most passionate about was Holistic Health. My gut reaction was hesitation. You see, I am really passionate about science. I have a Bachelor’s of Science, I’ve always loved biology and physics, and I am a big advocate for science in politics and life in general. I always thought that holistic health was at odds with science itself. After some soul searching, I came to the realization that this was not the case. That these two things I thought of as opposites can and do coexist.

The session itself was amazing. We spent almost two hours at the Starhouse in Boulder, wandering through the woods and around the property. There are lots of spiritual sites at the Starhouse, and plenty of gorgeous natural landscapes, that made for the perfect backdrops to our session. At the end, there was a massive downpour and Andrea was so excited to dance in it. She actually had to convince me to keep taking photos! They turned out amazing and my equipment was unharmed. In true Colorado fashion, the storm passed quickly and left us with an incredible double rainbow to end the day.

Dance Warriors – Holistic Health | Boulder Dance Photography

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

I, Andrea Jayne Martin, am an eclectic mover, creator, dance educator, yogi, and healing artist residing in Boulder, CO.

In 2017, I established ethereum dance co. to continue my passion for creating socio-political performance art pieces that speak to the human experience. My approach is symbiotic between body, mind & spirit- encouraging full immersion in movement through a heightening of the senses.

I am a graduate of Rhode Island College with a B.A. in Dance as well as a B.A. in Performing Arts Management. I also hold a Certificate in Non-Profit Studies in addition to a Minor in International Non-Governmental Organization Studies and was the recipient of a 2015 Rhode Island College Leadership Award in the category of “Vital Contribution to the Community.” I hold certifications in Selah® and Intuitive Dao Tantric Healing Arts, Kripalu Yoga, and Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yoga. I am the sole owner of Selah® | Holistic Wellness and also serve as Founder and President of 501c3 nonprofit holistic wellness advocacy organization Seeds of Wellness (SOW), Inc.

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Why are you passionate about holistic health?

I spent much of my early life very unwell- enslaved by chemical dependency and reckless on every level… 90 pounds soaking wet with all the attributions of a stale cigarette. The right people stepped in for me when I couldn’t and shed light on a journey of purpose-driven recovery. Eight years later and, of course, still evolving, the renewed pursuit of holistic wellness in my own life has translated into the lives of others through my healing arts practice, Selah | Holistic Wellness, based in Boulder, CO. My work stems from a passion to offer the same light to others that was extended to me in my time of need.

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How has dance helped you express yourself?

Dance is therapy. We are kinetic in nature. Movement is deeply engrained within us, down to the cell. Technical training allows the soul to fly, and to speak a language that is beyond words. I believe dance is the ultimate form of expression. It allows me to hone in on the subtleties of my being- to discover them, to feel them, to embrace them, and to share them.

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

Art is inherent to our beings. Just as we were created, we also create. We create meals, homes, decisions, babies… the list goes on. We are all artists. And just as the dancer needs technical training to hone in on their craft, the human being needs boundaries around what they create. Everyone has their own idea of what those boundaries should look like, giving us politics. What art does is hold politics accountable. Accountable to human nature… to the moral compass that exists within. To what we feel in our bodies- not just what our fleeting minds are able to talk us into. Art has the power to change the perception of a whole nation in a single moment, due to its inherent, holistic way of expression. Art speaks to the body, mind, and spirit as opposed to the playing field of politics, which dominantly exists in the cognitive realm. May art continue to provide the balance we need to live in peace.

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Want engaging dance photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Want to be a part of the Dance Warriors project? Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Dance Warriors – Oil | Denver 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 is my way to use Denver dance photography to raise awareness about the issues that face us today.

This was the first session I did locally, in Colorado. For months, I drove past the Suncor oil refinery a few days a week. It’s very visible from the highway. Something about it intrigued me. It looked so cool, industrial, grungy, even beautiful, but it also made me sad. It may look beautiful but it’s function wasn’t. Knowing what it was and the harm it was doing to us and the environment made it frustrating to see every time I drove home. Knowing that there are better ways to create the energy we need but that those methods are being suppressed and blocked so these companies can stay in business, without the need to change or innovate. That was hard to deal with. And seeing this symbol of that damage so close to the city I call home was difficult too.

I knew this had to be the location of the next installment of the Dance Warriors project. Jessie Westbrook is a dancer, choreographer, and model. She contacted me about this project and was very passionate about the idea. Read on for more about her and her thoughts on the oil industry, plus the photos!

Dance Warriors – Oil | Denver Dance Photography

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

I have been dancing for 21 years. I’m trained in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, house, and bboy.  I love to spend my free time in the outdoors, hiking, camping, anything that brings me outside. We have a 5-year-old boarder collie aussie mix who is our ever loyal adventure buddy. I teach dance to kids and teens and hope to have my own dance company one day.

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Why are you passionate about the oil industry?

Even though I don’t know much about the oil industry I feel very passionate about changing it because I grew up hearing about the effects of global warming and now we are starting to see it. It is becoming very real and it strikes a huge chord with me when people continue to turn and look the other way, motivated by greed or manipulated by corporations.

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How has dance helped you express yourself? 

Dance has helped me find a way to express myself when words have failed. It has helped me through the hardest years of my life and has been a platform of communication and change. Dance is a part of who I am, helps me find direction and purpose, and empowers me to do the things that I didn’t think I could.

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

Art is a platform to express any message that one feels is important. It is a different type of voice, one that commands a thought process, a conversation.

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Want engaging dance photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Want to be a part of the Dance Warriors project? Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

PD Dance Festival First Look | Denver Dance Photography

The Presenting Denver Dance Festival, presented with the Robert and Judi Newman Center was a huge success! I’ve been part of an amazing team of volunteers helping to make this festival a reality for the past two years or so. Even with all the work we had done leading up to the festival, I did not expect to sell out every show in our inaugural year! But that’s just what we did. Each show was packed with people and we got wonderful feedback. 

The two day festival consisted of two different shows, the “New and Now” showcase and the “No Walls” concert, with 15 local dance companies and eight brand new world premieres. All the performers were absolutely incredible! There was such a great mix of styles and emotions and the flow of the shows was perfect. Any performance that can make you laugh and cry and stare in awe, all in the same show is pretty amazing in my book! I was so impressed by how it all came together.

I’ll be sharing most of the images from the festival in the months leading up to the 2020 Presenting Denver Dance Festival (mark your calendars!), so you’ll have to be patient if you want to see them. I am just too excited to share these photos though, so you get a special sneak peek in the meantime. Keep scrolling for a few photos from the New & Now showcase as the first look at our first festival ever! 

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Credits (in photo order):
Schiff Dance Company
Edgar L. Page
Kristen Demaree
Chadesh Contemporary Dance Movement
Hannah Kahn Dance Company
Helanius J. Wilkins
Gregory Gonzales
Moripovida Contemporary Dance

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.

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