Last week I went to The Lowry (Salford Quays) to visit the exhibition “A Flash of Light: The Dance Photography of Chris Nash.”
Chris Nash has been acclaimed the most imaginative interpreter of British new dance. He has been photographing dance companies for over 30 years. He started off his career by working with new British choreographers who broke away from the modern or contemporary dance scene, like Lea Anderson. He captured the change moving into the post modern dance era, and producing iconic images.
What I love about Chris’ images and what draws me to dance photography, is how it captures a split second in time that our eyes easily miss, and shows the intricate and complicated shapes a dancer’s body can make, whether it be the peak of the leap or an embrace captured in a duet, the exact moment or photograph can never be repeated or recreated, every shot is unique. Nash is exceptional for capturing movement with his careful timing, what I find interesting is if he pressed his shutter 100th of a second too late, the desired photograph would look completely different for example missing the highest point of a high kick and photographing the come down.
Nash also cleverly uses props, lighting and Photoshop to create something unique and artistic for the companies to grab the viewers attention, to promote their shows.
Theresa Cholmondeley. 1987
“As a young photographer Chris’ first experience of dance came from collaborating with student dancers from Laban, London. Chris photographed The Cholmondeleys from the start of their career. noted for their detailed hand movements and quirky surreal choreography, the all female company were said to have dancing hands. This inspired Chris to produce a portrait of each dancer in the company as a dancing hand.” (extract from the exhibition)