Most people had seen Ballet photographed traditionally and while those photos are undeniably beautiful, I wanted to rewrite the composition, purely focusing on the unique shapes and shadows of the art form.
I first picked up a semi-professional drone 2 years ago to document my travels around Southeast Asia. 18 months on, I have refined my aesthetic constantly experimenting with various subject matter. I had photographed people from above — including Olympians — and while those shots were very compelling, I knew that combining such a prestigious art form with an alternate view would truly be the embodiment of my work.
Montana Rubin is a member of the corps de ballet (body of the ballet) within the prestigious Australian Ballet. Because of the pandemic, Rubin is not currently performing on stage nor working as usual with the Ballet. I reached out to Montana on Instagram after searching for a Ballerina locally.
The photoshoot was quite planned, with 2 different locations featuring aesthetics — one a warehouse contrasting against the soft elements of the ballet and the second an event space with beautiful tiles.
I wasn't too familiar with ballet before doing the shoot so I had zero expectations. After the shoot and upon looking back at the imagery, I was surprised at how seemingly effortlessly Montana was able to get into positions as well as creatively direct herself based on my feedback.
It was imperative to pay homage to the art of Ballet, whilst at the same time adding a new, modern spin which incorporated positions and shapes that were beyond the traditional art form.
One time during the shoot, I asked Rubin to 'play' with the shadow created by her movements via the light. Watching her truly lose herself in her art form was truly a spine-tingling moment and a moment that a photographer can end up waiting many years to experience — if they get to experience it at all.