“We prefer to use fashion that is more organic or stated to the actual subjects that we work with.” – Dane Shitagi (Photographer, The Ballerina Project)
Hello fantastic people!
AC here :) Been a while since I checked in with you guys. How are we all feeling? Terrific? Terrific! Just take a moment to bask in that feeling.
Basking done? Great! Now that’ you’re feeling all relaxed and wonderful, I have a special treat for you today.
Back in September 2013, we became involved in a very special project: The Ballerina Project.
This project is the creation of one photographer, Dane Shitagi, and veers away from traditional dance photography to capture the soul of the ballerinas featured in a very personal, authentic way.
The Ballerina Project has personally been one of my favourite photographic series for years so I was pretty quick to jump on the opportunity to get inside Dane’s head a little bit! Dane was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for me.
AC: How did The Ballerina Project get started?
DS: I started the Ballerina Project approximately 14 years ago here in New York City. Over the many years the project has evolved to what it is today.
AC: When did you notice the project really taking off in terms of popularity?
DS: A growing number of people follow us but I rather let the public determine if we are popular or not. In this day and age it is hard to really say or quantify what is popular or not in the sea of social media and the web.
AC: Which images receive the strongest response, and why do you think that is?
DS: It is difficult to say which images have the strongest response. Analytics from social media can give an idea which images have the most likes or comments but only our viewers know which images had a true effect on them.
AC: Where would you like to see the project go in the future?
DS: The Ballerina Project has been extremely lucky to have survived these many years. In this day and age a good portion of the public wants content for free. Because of this element projects like ours will always have difficultly surviving
AC: When styling the ballerinas, what’s your number-one concern or goal?
DS: It has been our goal and direction over the last 4-5 years to not play up on the “stereo type” of a ballerina. Ballerinas are often depicted along these stereo types and often become caricatures of what the public expects them to be. Because of this direction we have stayed away from leotards and typical ballerina type costumes. We prefer to use fashion that is more organic or stated to the actual subjects that we work with.
From myself and the entire Black Milk team: Wow. These photos are incredible! It’s such a cool project to be involved in, and thank you so much Dane for your time.
ballerinaproject.com/ - @ballerinaproject_ - facebook.com/theballerinaproject
Sasha Del Sola Reynolds (Deathly Hallows Swimsuit)
Isabella Boylston (Shark vs Mermaid Swimsuit)
Kaho Ogawa (Differently Sane Swimsuit)
Lydia Bevan (Wolf Pack Swimsuit)
Jahna Frantziskonis (Hamlet Leggings)
Lindsi Dec (Battle Suit, Bro Ball Skater Dress)
Elanor Bock (Cherry Blossom Skater Dress)
Angelica Generosa (Pretty Lights Swimsuit)