Artist Statement

Untitled photo

I have the fortune of continuously working to document the live performances organized by New Works, a non-profit arts management organization based in Vancouver, and with local dance artists, by documenting scores of performances, mainly contemporary dance, on-location and in low-light conditions. I provide the expertise to create the material to document live performances using photography as an artistic medium.

Two keywords synthesize my specialized artistic photographic practice, documenting and low-light:

The first is documenting; keeping a complete record of a live art performance, including Video, Photography and Footnotes to produce a text that describes the structure, the choreography, the music, the silence, the possible interaction with the public, the movements and stillness of a performance.

To document performance with photography as a medium, one needs to capture the motion and actions throughout the performance, making visible elements like the light and its colours, the choreography, the public, and the expression of the dancer's faces.

The second word is the low-light. Most of the dance performances I document happen in a very dark environment, where strobe or flash are not allowed. Moreover, there is often low contrast on stage; the dancers usually wear black or dark attire on a black stage (floor and background). Documenting movements in these conditions present an interesting and ever-changing challenge. My mission is to capture the essence of the choreography's work and sequence, providing sharp images that highlight the dancer's movements and the energy and intent behind their piece.

This gallery has been created with imagination, expertise, experience and the ability to represent my vision and self-expression as an artistic photographer. This work has starred my Artistic vision of the human body movement, achieving with its representation a description-less of aesthetic images, celebrating beauty in a dialogue where the balance between fine art and decorative art coexist.

I have been inspired by dance photographer like Lori Greenfield (NY), Darian Volkova, Alexander Yakovlev, Vadim Stein, Lisa Tomasetti, Daria Chenikova. At the beginning of my artistic endeavour in photography, I was inspired by the technical description found in the article Photography Dance by Peter Norvig -

Juan Contreras

“The term live art refers to performances or events undertaken or staged by an artist or a group of artists as a work of art, usually innovative and exploratory in nature.” Tate - Art Term

©Copyright 2015-2022 Juan E. Contreras All rights reserved -

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