Dance was once a pre-eminent way life and the human creature manifested in action and stillness,
in grace. Although it gets little attention or place in today's
culture, dance was once one of the
social arenas, one of the few places people met in the ages before
simple easy and cheap transportation and communication. If you didn't
live in a city, the only time you saw and socialized with a substantive
group of people was at church and at a dance. So dance was a big
thing, and being a graceful competent dancer was essential.
I play for English Country Dance and dance that dance
, the dance form that was a silver thread running through Jane Austen's novels.
And I know of few activities that will cut through artifice and give a quicker read of a person than this dance form.
During the summer, I go to week long dance camps. They are a
wonderful mine of photographic opportunity because the people are
generally intelligent, vibrantly slive and engaged...and I shoot as
well as dance. Here are a few images...
You can see the complete Flickr sets for English Week at Pinewoods here
. The two images of the Kerry set dance (not
the dance form of Jane Austen or the dance usually danced at these
camps) on the parent webpage are from an impromptu session of Kerry
sides. Here's a shot of another such; notice that all
the dancers are off the ground!
This was taken on an abandoned floor of an old department store, in
Bisbee, Arizona, an old copper mining town. I stepped onto the
floor and found this waiting for me and was stunned by its justness,
its repose, its age. It feels as if the person who had left it there has just stepped away....