“Dance as an art form is bittersweet,” Daniil Simkin, a principal at the American Ballet Theatre, writes in the forward of The Art of Movement. “On one hand, its beauty is instantaneous and visceral, and on the other, it only exists in a very fleeting moment of ‘now.’”
Simkin is one of the many dancers photographed by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, the duo behind The Art of Movement, a collection of wildly romantic images of some of the world’s most recognizable ballerinas and leading men from around the world. Browar and Ory are the the minds behind The NYC Dance Project, an ongoing documentation of the ballet world centered in New York City. Each of their shoots, they write online, is “prepared as though it were its own dance production, with attention paid to every detail ― movement, lighting and the feeling of each photograph.”
The Art of Movement features photographs of Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck, Xin Ying, Marcelo Gomes, James Whiteside and so many more. Some are dressed in the leotards, pointe shoes and tutus we’re used to seeing on stage; others can be seen in tuxes and floor-length dresses, leaping to incredible heights at impossible angles. Alongside the images of the so-called silent storytellers are quotes from some of the subjects themselves, expressing what they’ve learned from years in the ballet world.
You can check out a preview of the book, published on Oct. 25 by Black Dog & Leventhal, here ― along with some bits of wisdom form ballet’s greatest. The following images offer a peek into NYC’s dance world, where ballerinas defy gravity in ballgowns.