One of the cool things about any career is how random acts and circumstances ultimately determine a course, or provide direction. And no career I know of is more random than photography.
In 1978, I moved into a great little studio apartment on W. 65th St. in Manhattan. It cost $250 a month. If I looked east, from my fire escape, every Thanksgiving morning, I had a view of the Macy’s balloons as they floated and bumbled their way south towards 34th St., from their inflation stations up by the Natural History Museum on Central Park West. If I looked west, and leaned way out, I could see a piece of Lincoln Center, hub of the dance universe in NYC. Little did I know that moving into that apartment would influence my choice of photographic subject matter for the rest of my career.
I noticed dancers, virtually every morning, making their way towards the practice studios over at Lincoln Center. It was easy to pick them out, bun headed, duck walking, extended necks, carriage maintained just so. Mixed in of course would be a dance bag, the inevitable bottle of Evian, and a certain arrogance of gaze as they move through the streets with a physical grace they never allow to dissipate, while the rest of us scurry into the subways. They are an elite, like fighter pilots in pre-flight mode, going to a practice studio where they daily make their bodies do things most humans never think of attempting.
I made the above picture in 1978 or ’79, and with those isolated clicks, I knew I would return again and again to the world of dance, camera in hand. We have just put together a Quicktime movie of my dance work, with the intent of sending it out to ballet companies, in hopes of attracting assignments. We always seek work. It’s a thing we continue to do, as any photographer must. Many thanks to Jon Cospito and Michael Cali in my studio, who did the heavy lifting of putting this together. Love to know what readers might think. You can link to it direct on Vimeo…. https://vimeo.com/85203522.
Or, here is the link to the video section on our website, and it’s the first one that comes up: – http://portfolio.joemcnally.com/#!/video.