Christmas Day has meant a chance to relax, reflect and catch up on recorded TV. One of the programmes was “Strictly Bolshoi” – about British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon working with the Bolshoi Ballet to create a new ballet. Watching how he created a ballet in itself was interesting, but when its performance was shown – it was totally wow. The choreography was amazing in itself (well, it looked it, even though I know next to nothing about ballet) but what really completed it was the lighting on the dancers in understated costumes and an almost bare stage. As a photographer, I spend a lot of my life looking for good light – or using to its best advantage whatever light is available. Watching “Strictly Bolshoi” brought home again how important it is – possibly adding an extra 30-50% to the choreography and dancing, exaggerating the dancers’ beautiful lines, underscoring repetition and helping you know where on stage to look. If ever a photographer – or perhaps any visual artist – questions the value of light, I hope they get a chance to look at this ballet. Wheeldon is also the first ballet choreographer who has made me want to go to more of his performances.
This is also the blog’s second birthday – and it hardly seems any time at all since it started.