This is the first post in a new series titled, From the Archive to showcase and reflect on my extensive archive which stretches back over 20 years.

This dance photography shoot is from 2002 and I was still shooting predominantly on a film camera. The photos were commissioned by an Oxford dance company, Gelede, who were based at the Pegasus Theatre.

I love this collection of photographs. The contrast between the background – with its strong lines and subtle gradations of tone, shadow and reflection – and the dancers, as they flow through the space, makes for such a mesmerising and timeless set of images.

As my 8 year old daughter becomes increasingly fond of dance, I look back on these photos with a renewed sense of appreciation and respect for the power of movement. The way these photographs have preserved a time in the lives of these women which I’m sure they would look back on now with awe makes me feel quite proud to be a photographer.

Some technical notes:

The photos were shot on 35mm colour film, with the negatives then scanned using a Fuji Frontier (revolutionary digital mini labs of the time) before being processed and converted to black and white in Photoshop. I used studio flash lighting (Swiss Elinchrom as I owned back then) and the shoot had a budget of 5 rolls of 36 exposure film (I still have the negatives!).