Ellie Gorski at Pappelwick Pumping Station Underground Reservoir

Pappelwick Pumping Station has a wonderful and massive old Victorian underground reservoir. It would still be in use if it did not have a few small cracks in the walls. But it’s safe to visit, which is what Ellie Gorski and I did for an absolutely fantastic dance photoshoot. It’s eery, and damp, but wonderful.

Ellie Gorski dancing on the stairs of an old building, with an arm and a leg outstretched.

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As well as photographing dance, and performance art, I also help run a community darkroom: Leicester Lo-Fi. Every season, we do some new workshops, and like to put in some less known alternative processes, so I thought I’d do one on Luminograms. First, I had to learn how to do them. Luminograms are photographs taken without a camera, just manipulating light, in the darkroom. The absolute master of the process is Michael Jackson, and I still can’t figure out how he does some of his techniques.

I started fairly simply, using a pack of old resin coated gloss photo paper and a darkroom enlarger. This gave me control of how long my light source was on for, and with this I experimented with glass and objects, finding the exposure times that gave me black, various shades of grey, and also white.

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Harriet Curtis-Hampson & Hettie Holman at Lud’s Church

In Staffordshire, UK, there’s a crack in the Earth, called Lud’s Church. It’s a wonderful place to go, and I was excited to take two dancers there for a photoshoot. Harriet Curtis-Hampson & Hettie Holman, were terrific, and we all enjoyed being in nature for a bit.

Harriet Curtis-Hampson & Hettie Holman dancing in Lud's Church
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Dance Film: Wait, Now

I’ve collaborated with Aimee Lily Williamson to make a dance film. The urge to be creative continues in lockdown, but I wanted to make something that looked like it had been made during unrestricted times. So, with a few instructions, I asked Aimee, who I photographed dancing, here, to film herself dancing using her phone, and from there, we’ve constructed a narrative. I hope you like it.

If you like the birdsong I recorded for it one morning, it can be found here:

Fluid Dynamics: Dance in unexpected places, a dance photography exhibition

My first solo exhibition Fluid Dynamics: Dance in unexpected places is currently on display at Déda in Derby, UK. It comprises some 26 dance shoots I’ve organised in some interesting locations. The exhibition is on until May 9th 2020, so come along, if you’re in Derby, and see what it’s all about.

Dancers Sarah West Valstar and Seraina Dejaco viewing Fluid Dynamics at Déda

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Dance: Wollaton Hall

I’ve wanted to do a dance shoot at Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire, immediately I walked into the Prospect Room. It’s faded glamour completely matched the aesthetic that I try for in my dance shoots. It took quite a while to organise, but, once planned, the shoot went fantastically. I was advised by the staff to go at the beginning of the day, to use the early morning light. They were so right. It looked fantastic.

I took four dancers with me: Fern Chubb, Liza Mortimer, Nadine Knew and Scarlett Turner who, coincidentally are all part of Fuelled Dance Theatre who I’ve worked with on several occasions. I’d like to thank them for being generally brilliant.

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Dance: Aimee Lily Williamson

This series of photographs is part of a personal photography project, where I take a dancer to an interesting location, and let the dancer react to the environment. This has allowed me to widen my artistic network further, and build an interesting portfolio for both myself and the dancer.

I photographed dancer Aimee Lily Williamson at various locations in Clitheroe, Lancashire. We had fun exploring Clitheroe Castle, Whalley Abbey in the snowy weather, and warmed up in Holmesmill. Here she introduces herself:

I’m Aimee and I’m a freelance dancer based in Lancashire. I love learning, music and drinking tea. I trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and since then have had a grand old time taking my dancing down different paths. I have worked with a ballet company, a circus company, a contemporary company, with dabbles of folk dancing, Zumba teaching, flash mobbing and clog dancing thrown in too.  I am currently working with AbouTime Dance Company that create work from local heritage, and Androna Dance Theatre, that I’d say are quite feminist and politically driven. When alone in the dance studio I’d be found improvising to Icelandic indie rock. I’d also probably be in Ravenclaw.

Portrait of Aimee Lily Williamson

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Dance: Laura Cantliff

I photographed dancer Laura in Anchor Church, Derbyshire. It was freezing that day. She didn’t complain once. Here she introduces herself:

Hello! My name is Laura and I’m currently studying Dance BA (Hons) for my 3rd year at De Montfort University. I love unusual and beautiful art, and eating nutella out of the jar. Dancing has always been my favourite thing to do; as a hyperactive 10 year old, I started classes as something to do with all of my crazy, other than climbing trees. 10 years later I was lucky enough to be invited to DanceEast’s Young Rural Retreat for future dance industry leaders, a place where I decided that dance was where I needed to be. My current studies in contemporary dance allow me to develop my creativity and knowledge of interdisciplinary performance and dance. Through my practice I hope to explore my interest in feminism and politics, in particular, how activism works within the arts industry. Most of all, I like taking risks, being weird, and improvising to The Kinks!

Laura dancing in a cave in Derbyshire

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Circus Hub Nottingham

I’ve been working with Circus Hub Nottingham, recently. They are a centre for training in aerial skills, circus, dance, acrobatics, theatre and drama. They’ve been doing some fun events, like Gloworm Festival in Nottinghamshire, and their own first birthday. We also did a photoshoot, to show off some of their awesome aerial skills. Here’s a few of the photos from the various events.

Circus Hub Nottingham at Gloworm Festival

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