Dancer Steps Offstage and Jumps Behind Camera


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A ballet dancer spends most of his or her career as the subject of the gaze. The watchful eyes of a choreographer, ballet master, critic and audience member permeate the existence of the moving body. The dancer attempts to create the ideal image – perfect placement of the limbs, supple feet that accent an accompanying score, and appropriate emotional intensity, all with the hopes of hearing an applause at the conclusion of a performance.

It is this traditional role as a vessel for a creator’s artistic vision, that is both inspiring and at times, limiting. Thus, what happens when a dancers steps off of the stage, picks up a camera, and casts his gaze upon another body?

A collection of resulting images, striking and sculptural, can be viewed in Aleksandar Antonijevic’s inFORMants exhibit, as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival from May 2nd to 30th, 2013 at Berenson Fine Art.

National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Aleksandar Antonijevic was born in Pozarevac, Yugoslavia in 1969. He joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1991, where he has been a Principal Dancer since 1995. Antonijevic recently extended his love of dancing from the theatre stage to the camera lens and editing suite. After participating in a documentary photography workshop with Donald Weber at Pitko Gallery in the Distillery District, Antonijevic embarked on an ongoing exploration of the human body and the documentation of absolute truth, themes highlighted in his inFORMants exhibit.

The implementation of dancerly principles such as form, space, composition and expression seamlessly transitioned to his work with the camera. Peering through the lens, gazing upon his models (who all happen to be National Ballet of Canada dancers), Antonijevic seemed to find an inspiring role off stage, and out of the spotlight.

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inFORMants is part of the 2013 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival from May 2nd to 30th, 2013. inFORMants will be shown at Berenson Fine Art (212 Avenue Road, Toronto) on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12:00 pm Р6:00 pm.