Monday, November 5, 2012

Dancer With Wings: Photo Shoot Part Two

Dancer With Wings
Saritza Velilla-Jenkins
McKinney, TX

For several months, I've been contemplating photographing belly dancers. Like any other commercial photographer, I realized that were several aspects of this shoot which included the clients wants and needs and my own artistic vision.

Saritza Velilla-Jenkins
Like the dancers, I also envisioned my own choreography and story board. The location would add to my canvas as would the dancers and their colorful costumes. My objective was to shoot two types of images: one for them and one for my own project, two very different voices and styles.

Fortunately for me, Lidia Dalida, Saritza Velilla-Jenkins, and Vickylin Malak were all willing to assist me with my project as was my friend and photographic assistant, Del Maclaren. All three dancers were equally interested in my artistic pursuit. Like me they were passionate at what they do. Like them, desire to express oneself outweighed fear of reproach. That voice was louder than the many voices of insecurity.

Originally, the objective was to demonstrate the difference between a point and shoot photographer and one that creates art. However, in the process of studying and doing my research, the art of belly dance, the costumes, music and movement awakened more of my creativity and curiosity. At times, the feelings of an artist made me comprehend my own dormant desires to find my artistic voice.

As the shoot progressed with each dancer, not only was I able to comprehend them but also their desire for self expression. Belly dance is about feeling pulsating rhythms that lift the spirit to dance, celebrate life, and transcend beyond. The dancer literally takes on wings as she entertains both the audience and herself. It's her stage to do as she pleases and the music dictates. Music, life itself, choreographs the dance and she dances in essence to the melody of life. Learning to dance life's melodies is learning to live and to enjoy life. It was certainly not what I expected to learn.

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