Dance Close Up
Rating
3.5/4

Date:

 

Dance Close Up

Peggy Jarrell Kaplan

The Close-up says everything.  In a Close-up, the audience is only inches away, and your face becomes the stage.”
(Marlon Brando)

 

Peggy Jarrell Kaplan, a New York-based photographer who has compiled an historic collection of contemporary choreographers, will exhibit portraits of Hungarian and other international dance artists from 1985 to 2016.  As an impressive collective portrait of the choreographic world, Kaplan allows us to know the dancer from the dance.

Within the tradition of classical analogue studio photography, Kaplan approaches dance obliquely.  Her portraits are a reflection on the grace and posture that are general attributes of the dance, encompassing playful and serious moods.  The photographic studio becomes a miniature stage, interweaving performance with the personal – a Portrait Performance – that includes the body and references to an artist’s work.

I became interested in the qualities of an artist that informed his/her work, the source of that creativity, and a portrait seemed the best way to get closer to what cannot be seen - as observed by the writer/cultural critic Susan Sontag.  I liked that the relationship of the dance artist to his/her creation is the most immediate and direct.  In the words of the choreographer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui:  “The dancer is both draughtsman and the pencil.”

Peggy Jarrell Kaplan: labkultur, Istanbul

 

***

 

Festivals and institutions exhibiting Kaplan’s exhibitions include Tanz im August, Montpellier Festival, London Dance Umbrella, Centre Pompidou, Lincoln Center Museum, Sadler’s Wells, and many others.  Her portraits traveled with  the Baryshnikov’s FASTForward tour.  Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

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