“The body says what words cannot”…………..Martha Graham
Lines and LEAPS is my third book. It is filled with images that I made over the last 4 years since the publication of my first book, Dance Magic. In this case, as Graham states above, my dancers visually embrace two words, communicating with their bodies what would take paragraphs to explain scientifically, intellectually and spiritually.
These words are Lines and Leaps, and the title Lines and LEAPS has special meaning for me. Both words describe qualities and actions intrinsic to the world of dance. The term “line” in ballet refers to the configuration of the dancer’s body in motion or at rest. Some dancers are born with beautiful natural line because they were blessed with bodies made for dance, but beautiful lines can also be developed and enhanced by training.
I like to call a dancer’s body a “beautiful instrument.” Most dancers have been fine-tuning their instruments since they were very young. They learned to play their instruments, resulting in visually harmonious or interesting relationships of the limbs, head and torso...Lines.
The word LEAPS is used instead of the more proper ballet term, “jete.” This is just to keep the alliteration going! The French word “jete” actually means “to throw,” which is what dancers do-literally throwing themselves into the air. There are many different types of jetes, or LEAPS, and capturing a magnificent leap at the height of its trajectory is one of the greatest thrills in dance photography.
I have organized this book with each 2 page spread containing one image which focuses on a dancer's "Lines" and an image that is a "Leap." There are a few exceptions but almost every 2 page spread will contain both of these visual ideas. I have tried to pair the images so that there is some common relationship between the two.