by Pixie Vision
posted January 20, 2014
Capturing the essence of a dancer in nature is a different experience than a studio session. In the studio, it’s a more intimate experience, confined by the backdrop. It’s a distinct trust, born of music and confidence.
Outdoors, the dancer can more easily release uncertainty by conjuring the feeling of limitlessness, pulling energy from the sky, swirling visualization, curiosity. She can come up and out of herself and become part of her surroundings, harnessing sunlight, a delicious breeze.
I’ve been blessed to travel for the past ten years, photographing over 11,000 belly dancers from all over the world. Some days I find myself at dawn in a Nevada desert willing the sun to crest over red rocks in a way I dreamt about the night before. Some days I am driving along the backroads of my neighborhood living in wonder & possibilities. It’s an intuitive process, a renegade experience.
I make impulsive decisions based on light and energy. It’s nearly impossible to predict exactly how the light will fall for outdoor shoots. Likewise how a dancer will feel over the course of a shoot. My job as a photographer is to instigate moments, to sift through fear and draw out the pearls of who is in front of me, who they truly are, or strive to be. I am sparked by light, both in nature and within people… and when these elements come together, art happens.
This collection of photos is the result of this merging of light and energy, faith and movement…
Anastassiya Le Fay
Aradia Julia Sunseri
Cécile Carr of OmBellyCo
(also at top of page)
Jennifer of Black Thorn
Elise Morris, producer of JamBallah NW
Malia of Pied Peacock Belly Dance
Stephanie of Miami
Victoria Raqs Sharqi
Vadalna Tribal Dance Company
Ready for more?
- 3-9-09 Authenticity in Dance Photography
There are three things that make a dance photograph great: authenticity, detail and connection.
- 6-4-09 Michael’s Spring 2009 Photo Spread
Aazura, Adriana, Ahava, Alimah, Andrea, Claudia, Eve, Kashmir Isis, Katherina, Khalila, Maria, Meissoun, Michelle Joyce, Mychelle, Nadira, Nanna, Nicole, Sandra, Shoshanna, Summer, Surreyya, Crystal, Tabitha, Zaheea
- 10-9-08 A Big Picture Book Review: Martha Burns’ "Belly Dance, Celebrating the Sacred Feminine"
Every page is a work of art, a truly astonishing array of images. The content is very inclusive and features all age ranges, body types and styles. You will see yourself, your best self, in these pages.
- 9-15-09 Photos from Spirit of the Tribes 9 A Multicultural Journey Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 2009
Zizi’s photos are from the Spirit of the Tribes festival which is in its ninth year. It is produced by Maja a long established teacher in Florida. The festival includes 4 days of workshops, vending, competition and performances by troupes and soloists from around the world.
- 4-14-07 Randa Kamal in Cairo The Photos of Susie Poulelis
I was fortunate to travel to Cairo on business in April ’06, and managed to take some time to see a few sights and, at least, one dance performance: Randa Kamal at the Marriot Zamelek’s Empress Nightclub
- -30-09 The Bellydance Museum: An Accident of Fate?
Soon, I found out my collection of Arabic instruments, ancient jewelry, and our shared bank account were all gone along with my ex-wife. The only thing I could find was a small part of my picture collection, which I now had to sell in order to stay alive.
- 0-31-12 Making Superstars out of Top Dancers, BDSS Tour 2012
From the beginning, the Bellydance Superstars troupe has had the great fortune to attract the top dancers in the field even though, at first, we were criticized within the bellydance community for “having no stars”; so how dare we call the troupe the Bellydance Superstars?
- 7-8-08 When Two Doors Close Two Doors Open, New Venues in New York City,
Scott was thrilled with the new place and said it reminds him of the late night clubs in Istanbul, Turkey. At the end of the night I walked out into the hot summer air feeling invigorated and inspired.
- 6-17-08 Tito Seif: The Moment of Eternal Shimmy
Tito is now an international phenomenon. And how wonderful that a man from Egypt has taken to the West’s belly dance stages establishing himself as one of the greatest belly dancers and showmen today. Such development flies in the face of those American belly dance instructors, students, and performers who have long considered this art defunct in Egypt and dependent upon their kind support and cultivation.
- 0-12-10 Part 2 of 2: The Performances, The New York Theatrical Belly Dance Conference 2010, A Five Day Exploration of Dance Styles, Intention, and Content
Some of these "theatrical" works focused more on staging and aesthetics; some used narrative; others focused overtly on intention and meaning; and, a minority stayed true to traditional cabaret or folkloric modes.
- 10-6-11 Dreaming in Massachusetts, Photos from MassRaqs 2011
The celebration of those traditions, along with the fervor of Boston’s intellectual culture, the talent of our local community of dancers and musicians, and a desire to connect that beautiful history to the global present and future of our dance drives the work we do in our event.
- 2-11-08 Photos from Carnival of Stars 2007- A-Z Page 1- A through K photos
Novemenber 10 & 11, 2007, produced by Alexandria and Latifa Centennial Hall in Hayward, California
- 12-18-09 Welcome to the 2nd Miami Bellydance Convention, A Selection of Photos
Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, Florida, on September 4- 6, 2009, Winners,Teachers, Performers
- 8-12-04 The Photos & Poetry of David Ludwig
There is a time each year, when dancers and musicians gather, in a magic forest, to reconnect , with their creative source…
A week long immersion into Middle Eastern music and dance while camping in the Mendocino redwood forest. Expect live music every night and classes with many music and dance teachers each day. Many of the names are linked to video interviews we have conducted with individuals or to their bio pages here on Gilded Serpent.
- 12-31-08 8th Annual Blood Moon Regale: Disease 101
the interpretations ranging from comic to poignant, dancers portrayed a gamut of disorders from Scarlet Fever to Head Lice, Elephantiasis to Anorexia. Many of the performances were touchingly powerful, while others such as Origin’s depiction of Crabs had the capacity audience at the grand old Colonial Theatre laughing out loud (and scratching themselves
- 11-19-13 Tarazade Brings the Bellydance World to Istanbul, Tarazade 2013, Intercontinental Dance Festival
The five workshops I attended over four days were challenging and fun, which is what I had hoped. I love workshopping. It’s so much fun to dance to someone else’s rhythm and it’s hard to walk away not feeling inspired.