Since things have been a little quiet due to the crisis, I’ve decided to create a new category in my blog, From the Archive to showcase and reflect on my extensive archive which stretches back at least 20 years.

For this first post, we’ll be going back to 2002. I’d started my photography business (for the 3rd time) 18 months earlier and was still shooting 100% film. These dance 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 it’s 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!).