Sometimes, while I am spending hours on the black hole otherwise known as Pinterest, I find some truly extraordinary and beautiful things. Case in point, The Ballerina Project.
The Ballerina Project, images from which can be found on it's Facebook page, is a series of photographs spanning 10 years and all taken by New York-based photographer, Dane Shitagi. The project is "not 'dance photography' but an etching of a ballerina's heart and emotions," and depicts professional dancers in various locations throughout New York City (and a few in Boston and Shitagi's native Hawaii).
The photos are, in short, spectacular. They are a melding of the real, raw atmosphere of city life with the serene beauty of ballet. They celebrate the power and beauty of both. The dancers, while frequently the centerpiece of the photograph, are also merely a prop for Shitagi's larger depiction of city-living, standing in for the everyday person going about their business.
As a lover of both photography and dance, this project completely captivated my attention. I literally spent hours looking at every single image in the photo albums on Facebook. Born to a mother who had danced her entire life, I was put into dance classes beginning at the age of three. While I left them six years later to pursue horseback riding, the basics of dance have stuck with me. My feet turn out, and I find it very comfortable to stand in first position. Ask me to extend my arm, there's a good chance I'll have "ballet hands."
While I haven't danced seriously in years, only taking a few recreational classes in college, the beauty of it has stuck with me. The strength and effort hidden behind such effortless beauty and grace speaks to me. And Shitagi's photographs capture that. And they speak to me too.
This is art in it's finest form.
You can read more about Ballerina Project by following the links here.