I met Clara Villalba in 2009 when she had 17 years old. She was about to start a professional career and she was starting to « build » her portfolio for auditions. Even though, I love watching contemporary dance representations, I never had the opportunity to work with dancers. For me, dancers shoots are done in a studio and… I am not a studio photographer. I think I could manage a photo session but I prefer to present her to a friend of mine. Clara got wonderful shots but she still asked my point of view…
Different storytelling for a dancer
Photography is about connecting with people. My part is getting to know Clara and visually telling her story and her universe. « A picture is worth a thousand words.” That is the motto of a photojournalist but in my collaboration with Clara, we go further in the storytelling for each session and each scene. We made three photos sessions in eight years.
A woman lost in the city
In 2009, I’ve been scouting for a while and we finally went to an open air parking and narrow streets of Perpignan, in the south of France. Clara don’t have the usual body of a classical ballet dancer, I wanted to show her femininity. A woman lost in a city, in a parking…. She finally went to P.A.R.T.S in Bruxelles, founded by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, to go on her training.
Dancing in a salad field
In 2013, Clara did a great job, she is a full time dancer for « The Nederlands Dans Theater 2 » and she is more and more interested in the theatrical game in her expressive art. We went to an agricultural farm and spend wonderful time surrounding with salad and vegetables fields.
Choregrapher and dancer
After the NDT2, she spend two years in the Hofesh Shechter Company and went to Argentina. She was more and more determined to mix theater and dance. Finally in 2017, her approach was totally different. I choose the decorum and she « almost » directed the shoot. There were two now working together. A couple session which looks like a classical moment with a wedding photographer, but more intensive and creative.
I don’t know if these pictures are suitable for a portfolio dancer and cv shoots – I hope so ! But I truly know that they create an atmosphere, encapsulate memories of feelings in these moments. Clara is now directing her own choreographic company www.corpsitinerants.org and I still don’t have a photographic studio.