Dreaming is of all times and of all ages. Youth dreams of scoring in a football final in the shirt of Ajax like former footballer Marco van Basten, dancing with the ball on the field. Others dream of the spotlights, the stage, awhirling in a tutu, like prima ballerina Michaela DePrince had that dream. These latent fantasy images become reality through learning, hard work, discipline, perseverance and excellence, ballerina dreams.
The current ballet talent of the National Ballet Academy deserves a stage. That is why I want to portray them on glass plates with the collodion process from 1851, in the original costumes of the highlights of the Dutch National Ballet. A theater spotlight is used as a torch to paint with its light beam. I light paint the dancers in a exposure of 1 minute, so several dance movements will be visible in one shot
In the 19th century the American photographer Muybridge captured movements with the wet plate collodion process: this inspired Philip Glass to compose the opera ‘The Photographer’. Picasso and Man Ray painted with a torch, which was captured photographically. These artists have inspired me to do this project. The combination of the dancers movements and the spotlight makes for a dreamy and romantic image.
“While on his Egyptian expedition with Mr. Frank Frith, they came across a piece of sculpture that was not only in a dark place, but was, as it were, round a corner from the entrance passage, in about as unmanageable a position as can well be imagined,- however, being desirous of obtaining a picture of it, Mr. Wenham was determined not to be bafﬂed, and procuring two looking—glasses, and stationing an assistant at the entrance with one of them, he directed a mass of the sun’s rays along the passage, while receiving them upon a second mirror, he again changed the course of the rays, and being unable to illuminate the whole of the subject at once, by keeping the second mirror in constant motion, so as to paint the ﬁgures as it were with the light, a photograph was actually obtained.”