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Backstage with Grier Dance
Photos by Edith Noble M. '23
We were able to get a glimpse of backstage during Grier’s Winter Dance Performance thanks to the cooperation of Grier Dance, directed by Jocelyn Hrzic, and a Grier student photographer. Enjoy this peek behind the scenes through the lens of Edith M.’s camera.
She was inspired by the work of Russian photographer Sasha Gusov who captured a behind the scenes view of the Bolshoi Ballet. On her blog, Edith writes, "I was specifically interested in the feelings behind the photos. Dance is such beautiful action to watch, and from an audience it can seem effortless, elegant, and just plain beautiful. I wanted to experience the feelings that went on behind the curtain, in the dark (literally) where nobody was watching, and capture that. Those feelings of nervousness, excitement, and pride."
After thousands of photos and hours of post-processing, Edith's work shines. In one photo, the viewer looks over the shoulders of a dancer waiting in the wings, peeking through heavy curtains at the performers on the stage, dancing with their hearts and souls. "The seconds felt like hours," she described of her backstage experience, "It was pitch dark, you couldn't see anything except the curtain moving. Everyone was laser focused on what was about to happen. [...] There was such unity in that moment, everyone had one goal: to make the audience feel something through the beauty of their movements. Then, suddenly, the music started and everyone went from frozen in time to moving, twisting, and running around."
Through other photos, we see an iota of the immense prep work that goes into a live production, from the dancers' warm ups, rehearsals, the glamor of costumes, the emotional pep talks from their choreographers and instructors, and the technical work of lights and sound. "I realized how proud everyone was of what they were about to do. Everyone clearly knew that they had put in a semester of hard work to get to that performance, and nobody was going to let that opportunity to show their work go to waste," writes Edith.
While Edith's images show the dancer's skill and effort, some images momentarily break away from the intensity of the performances and we see candid joy and playfulness in the faces of the dancers. They love what they do. She notes, "Some were nervous, all were excited, but the overall feeling wasn't as tense as I had expected. Many girls were joking around, getting pictures together, and flaunting their beautiful costumes."
Edith is a tenth grade student at Grier who, among many academic, athletic, and social pursuits, enjoys design, photography, and video production. In addition to generously sharing her work with us at Grier, Edith showcases her design and photography on her personal website, Edith Noble Design.
RW with ENM | All photos courtesy of Edith Noble Design (ENM)