The project

This art project, titled Photoreographia, is the realization of a photographic concept that is based on the act of resolving the contradiction: dance being a movement through time and photography being the imprint of a moment. To make this possible, fine art photographer András Dobi asked several professional choreographers around Germany to choreograph pieces of dance dedicated to this particular occasion.
The two most significant differences between choreographing in the traditional stage-orientated method and the way that Photoreographia is done are linearity in time and orientation in space. Since the main aspect of this art project is to depict an entire choreography in one single image, the end result is a visual imprint of the choreographer’s decision of where and how the dancer was going to move. In this case, linearity in time as one of the most important factors in choreography loses its importance.
When a viewer looks at the final result of Photoreographia, it is clear that the usual starting and ending of choreography in terms of time are not significant anymore. This gives the images a singular nature. Viewers can decide their own way of experience and understanding of the images, and through them, the choreographic work as well.
Photoreographia is photographed from above. The camera is placed on the light supporting system pointing downwards. The choice of perspective has two main reasons: it creates an unusual viewer experience that allows one to see the whole dance choreography spread out on the stage, making it look like an abstract form that was formed by the dancer upon the choreographer’s artistic decisions. The composition of the images is uniform. The black background supports the complex motion to be shown in one single image.
When people look at Photoreographia images, some say they see them as an imprint of the choreographer’s artistic signature. What a coincidence? The word “choreography”, derived from the Greek language, literally means “dancewriting”. Photoreographia’s unusual perspective also encourages choreographers to rethink the way they use spacing in their work. The traditional theatrical audience-performer physical relationship doesn’t exist in this art project. Realizing this fact opens up a different set of possibilities for the choreographers. The importance in physical dimensions of the stage shifts from front to up. However, András Dobi only shows these possibilities to the choreographers. During their creation process, he never influences their artistic choices.
Laban Rudolf, was one of the most significant representatives of creating an orientation system in space for moving human bodies. His legacy intrigued András Dobi very early on in his professional dance career. In fact, part of his diploma work was about Laban´s work. The combination of his work and András´ stage experience triggered the need to develop Photoreographia. This unique project enables choreographers to work on a different level of understanding in their work, and for András Dobi to create an innovative format trough photography to impart Photoreographia in its unique way. This makes Photoreographia a real artistic collaboration.
Photoreographia is photographed from above. The camera is placed on the light supporting system pointing downwards. The choice of perspective has two main reasons: it creates an unusual viewer experience that allows one to see the whole dance choreography spread out on the stage, making it look like an abstract form that was formed by the dancer upon the choreographer’s artistic decisions. The composition of the images is uniform. The black background supports the complex motion to be shown in one single image.
When people look at Photoreographia images, some say they see them as an imprint of the choreographer’s artistic signature. What a coincidence? The word “choreography”, derived from the Greek language, literally means “dancewriting”. Photoreographia’s unusual perspective also encourages choreographers to rethink the way they use spacing in their work. The traditional theatrical audience-performer physical relationship doesn’t exist in this art project. Realizing this fact opens up a different set of possibilities for the choreographers. The importance in physical dimensions of the stage shifts from front to up. However, András Dobi only shows these possibilities to the choreographers. During their creation process, he never influences their artistic choices.
Laban Rudolf, was one of the most significant representatives of creating an orientation system in space for moving human bodies. His legacy intrigued András Dobi very early on in his professional dance career. In fact, part of his diploma work was about Laban´s work. The combination of his work and András´ stage experience triggered the need to develop Photoreographia. This unique project enables choreographers to work on a different level of understanding in their work, and for András Dobi to create an innovative format trough photography to impart Photoreographia in its unique way. This makes Photoreographia a real artistic collaboration.

The method

The shooting itself is taking place on a theater stage, lit with a regular theater light setup. The dancer repeats the choreography a few times while the photographer is taking photos of the movements. Every “run” creates a new set of photos. Having been a dancer András Dobi himself is completely aware of the capabilities of the dancer. Keeping that in mind, he also aims to create a fascinating experience for the dancer. Once the photos of the dance pieces are taken, the best sets of photos will be chosen and merged into final single images. Out of this small group of final sets, András will pick out the outstanding ones, based on his artistic choice.
In a complex artistic collaboration, the choreographers and the photographer, András Dobi will develop Photoreographia to a scientific level, which might help the evolution of choreography, directly or indirectly. With his humble work, Eadweard Muybridge made a very important contribution to photography, biology, fine arts, sport, and science. András believes that through this collaboration, collaborators can emulate his dedication and help choreographers in their future artistic and technical development.

What makes

Photoreographia

so unique?

Photoreographia is an act of artistic merger. A particular choreography that was designed for this occasion is captured to become a unique image. It depicts the choreography with all the artistic choices embedded. Many photographers have photographed dancers using certain photography techniques to demonstrate the beauty of a movement performed by a dancer. Some of them stand for excellent artistic and technical quality, but none of them have been designed as a complex fusion of choreographic and photographic art so far. According to our research, no one in art history has ever tried to execute what Photoreographia is about. The potential of this art project is beyond imagination. Therefore, András Dobi will dedicate the next few years exploring what Photoreographia can offer to us.

Artistic mission

The connection between dance and photography has been evident since photography reached the technical level of being able to capture the fracture of moments. It allows the viewer to witness dance movements in a way that was not possible before. For obvious reasons, photography has been cast in a purely documentation role in this play.
Since the first dance photo was taken, lots of changes have happened in both photography and the performing arts, particularly in dance. During the 20th and the 21st century, the way choreographies are made has evolved parallel to the new technologies that have been invented in the camera industry. Regardless of these developments on both sides, the roles of the dance and photography in this relationship have not alternated significantly.

Artistic mission

The connection between dance and photography has been evident since photography reached the technical level of being able to capture the fracture of moments. It allows the viewer to witness dance movements in a way that was not possible before. For obvious reasons, photography has been cast in a purely documentation role in this play.
Since the first dance photo was taken, lots of changes have happened in both photography and the performing arts, particularly in dance. During the 20th and the 21st century, the way choreographies are made has evolved parallel to the new technologies that have been invented in the camera industry. Regardless of these developments on both sides, the roles of the dance and photography in this relationship have not alternated significantly.

 

Collaboration

To make the project even more interesting, András Dobi decided to make it varied by involving many choreographers with different styles. The more choreographers join the art project, the better it will be. Every single time choreographers start to create their own choreography is a start of a new artistic journey. The reason for inviting many different artists for such a collaboration is very simple. Diversity. The more differentiation they produce through their unique artistic styles, the easier will be for the viewers to discover each choreographer’s individuality in the final collection of images.
In the first phase, András organized the first shooting in the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater in Schwerin, June 2020, with the help of the theater director Lars Tietje and ballet director Jutta Ebnother. Some images from the first shooting and an article of the art conception have already been published in the German tanz Magazine’s 2020 November Issue.
Collaborating artists: Jutta Ebnother, Stephan Thoss, Iván Pérez, Irene López Ros, Samuel Gilovitz, Paloma Galiana Moscardó, Marc Balló, Gisela De Paz Solvas, András Dobi