Tuesday, May 5, 2009

fun with photos, reflections on light

We wanted to have pictures that would make people come to the dance concert so we got together to make them. Sara, in black velvet with no sleeves, her white legs bare from above the knee, Zach with his camera, David with his guitar (hair sleek but not slicked, each curl a picture of the shape of the universe). I wore gray. We met in a grand ballroom of an old hotel (all the lights out) and danced in the space of light on the floor that came in from the tall windows. We wanted to be in the room, with all its old world glamour, with all of my strange gestures.

We felt like gangsters sneaking into the grand hotel, but when I left for home, walking quickly through the yellow-lit streets, I realized that what I felt, really, was the illusion of being part of a rococo painting. The chiaroscuro; the light and shadow brought my dances to life in still shots more than I was capable of doing on stage. In that tall light streaming across the carpet, everything took on weight and we stacked the gold painted chairs into a sculpture that was perfect for breaking our bodies into fearfully beautiful chair-like pieces and the light made the shadows seem so heavy and significant.

The light coming in from the yellow-lit city was not so different from the sunlight that used to stripe across our bedroom walls and ceiling in our first apartment (in Keene), blind-shaped tiger stripes of light that a film major once told me represented imprisonment when shot in a film, and if I'm honest, there were times that I felt trapped. The sunlight striping the old bedroom walls is not so different from the splotches of sunlight (shaped like the negative space between the leaves and branches of trees) that decorated thousands of notebook and novel pages from the time I could read and write and walk in the woods alone. The light of the space between tree leaves is not so different from the soft orage glow of the night-light, shaped like a turtle that was the first birthday gift from my first and only boyfriend when I was 17. The light of the brass turtle (that still sits in my bathroom) is not so different from the vivid twinkle of the stars in Drewsville NH in December in the cold and snow when all other light is extinguished.
All photos by Z. Z. Handler 2009

No comments: