Behind the Scenes at the Alameda Civic Ballet: Part One


For the past two three Saturdays I’ve been going to the studio to photograph the dancers with the Alameda Civic Ballet.  I wanted to show a behind the scenes view of the training it takes to bring a performance to life, in a troupe that is much more under the radar than the bigger ones like the San Francisco or Boston Ballet companies.  The dancers are preparing for a show that they have a relatively short number in, but that they are hosting.  The show itself is called “United We Dance,” and is coming up at the end of this week on April 29 & 30th, and will feature a mix of ten dance companies from around the greater San Francisco bay area.

The idea was to photograph the ballet training leading up to the show, then to photograph the show itself to complete the coverage.  It’s turning out to be a great experience, with much more personality and interaction than I hoped.  Many of the Alameda dancers are high school students, and only one is male (aside from the hired pro dancer to help). There’s this energy, sometimes nervous and sometimes boundless, that the young dancers have, which seems to infuse the studio space with life.  When I first thought about the project, for some reason I imagined a rough crack the whip sort of training that you’d find in some of Russia’s world renowned schools, but no, this is California, this is Alameda, and there’s an innate warmth because of that.

Once the photography is complete, I plan to find support for an exhibition of the work, and bring it to the public areas around town, such as the town hall, public library, and Alameda Museum,  in order to educate future dancers and enthusiasts of what takes place before the stage.  The images will appear on my fine art website at a later date, but for now, enjoy that first image above…

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  1. Pingback: Week 4 – MelissaBrand Photography

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