[#7 in a series of my favourite images, from my first 15 years as a professional photographer.]

If you've visited my website at all in recent years, you've probably seen this one already! Taken at a rehearsal for Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre's production of Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, it's been one of my all-time favourites for almost a decade now.

As with so many of my favourite production images, it doesn't explain itself - but with a graphic shape and strong colour (if not quite clean lines), it lures you into wanting to know more.

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre's production of Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, 2008 (click the image to embiggen)

Funny thing is, the show was just something on my schedule that MIGHT be happening that day, if I happened to be walking by. I'd finished a dress rehearsal at Downstage Theatre a few blocks away, and was on my way to Queen's Wharf Events Centre for...something else, I can't remember what now, and though I'd just pop into Shed 6 to see if anything was happening.

The stage was blank and black, the room was quiet, I put my bag down and sat on the floor for a moment to see what, if anything, might be going on.

Oh, right - hatches in the stage opened, lit from below, and arms appeared, flinging dust in the air; I took 12 photos in the course of 25 seconds, and they were done.

I hadn't even been sitting at the front of the stage, I'd been beside it; but, that just happened to line the performers up nicely, and let me see them in profile - which just made the images even better.

So - sometimes, a little bit of luck, combined with being there - and being ready when the time suddenly arrived - leads to an image that still, nearly ten years later, I consider one of my very best.

(Imagine if I'd arrived 30s later...! I can hardly bear to...)

Just for interest's sake, here's a couple of others before & after the one above - I don't think anyone's ever seen these before, actually!

Next week, another year - 2009.


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