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  • Horseshoe Ballet: A Photographer’s Exercise

    The auditorium at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a fantastic place to see a performance, but it is not the easiest locale to shoot dancers. The theater’s horseshoe seating arrangement does not lend itself to capturing a performance on the floor.

    For the past two years, Metropolitan School of the Arts has rented the facility to hold various events. Earlier this year, MSA’s Metropolitan Youth Ballet presented its annual end-of-year production, “La Fille Malle Gardee.” Two performances, with different students in the lead roles, were held back to back.

    I took a different approach this time around, sticking around in the balcony for the first show and then wandering down to eye level at points during the second, standng in the pass throughs that narrowed my scope greatly. It made for interesting contrasts in composition, but both approaches seemed to work well.

    These photos represent highlights from both shows. If you would like to see everything I shot, go to MSA’s Facebook page or to my SmugMug site (where you can purchase low-cost prints or high-resolution downloads).

    In case you’re wondering, “La Fille Malle Gardee” is a comedic ballet for all ages that tells the story of Lise, who desperately wants to break away from the farmhouse where she lives with her mother, Widow Simone. Lise is in love with Colas, but her mother wants her to marry the rich vineyard owner’s son, Alain. Complications ensue, but as you will see in the photos, in the end all live happily ever after.

    The ballet was first performed in 1789, the year of the French Revolution, and was the first to discuss the social status of the suitor. It was adapted and choreographed by MSA faculty member Jacqueline Doherty.