The Art of Dance - Indian Classical / by Osase Noma-Owens

For a long time, I had been planning to work with a dancer so I could tell his or her story through photography, but I could not find an opportunity to do so. I had to realize my passion before I could realize an opportunity. After a few weeks of planning, I finally happened upon a talented dancer who introduced me to the art of Indian classical dance; her name was Drisya.

 1/500 seconds, f/3.5, ISO 1600

1/500 seconds, f/3.5, ISO 1600

Upon meeting her for the photo shoot, I asked her to brief me on her style of dance and why it was special to her. She mentioned that the style of dance involved routines and expressions that were meant to express the meaning of the song she was dancing to. I was eager to see how the style of dance looked like so I asked her to do a quick demonstration.

 1/500 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 2000

1/500 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 2000

After watching her for a few seconds, I could tell that she was very enthusiastic about her style of dance. Her level of coordination and familiarity with the dance steps and routines really brought the style to life, and I was left both astounded and impressed.

 1/500 seconds, f/4.8, ISO 2000

1/500 seconds, f/4.8, ISO 2000

The biggest challenge of the shoot was actually for me because while the images look like they were taken while she was staying still, they were actually taken while she was in the middle of a fast-paced routine. The challenge that every dance photographer faces is that they have to capture specific moments while the action is happening.

 1/500 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 2000

1/500 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 2000

One of the things I noticed while she danced was her level of flexibility. Her style of dance required that she be able to move smoothly with freedom and poise. That's one of the things that made her style of dance special.

 1/500 seconds, f/4.8, ISO 2000

1/500 seconds, f/4.8, ISO 2000

It's really difficult to describe dance with words. Sometimes it's best to just let the viewer see the photos and try to feel the dance without getting distracted by words, so I'll leave you a few shots to admire.

 1/500 seconds, f/4.8, ISO 2000

1/500 seconds, f/4.8, ISO 2000

 1/640 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 3200

1/640 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 3200

 1/640 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 3200

1/640 seconds, f/5.0, ISO 3200

 1/640 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 2500

1/640 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 2500

After about an hour of shooting, we were finally done and we started to review the photos. Coincidentally, I took a shot that expressed her satisfaction with the photo shoot and it was captured while she was dancing.

 1/640 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 5000

1/640 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 5000

I was glad to have been able to work with a talented dancer who knows a lot about her style of dance. I had waited so long before I finally was able to have a photo shoot like this, and I hope to keep doing shoots like this in the future. I have to thank Omjaa (her friend) for helping me out with the photo shoot because I probably would not have been able to do this photo shoot without her.

 1/200 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 2500

1/200 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 2500