Nutcracker from Backstage

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smulnik
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Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:48 pm

For us dancers, after months of rehearsals, it's now the "dog-days" of Nutcracker season. I finished "guesting" at a student production a couple of weeks ago for 4 performances. Now I'm in the thick of the St. Louis Ballet's production. We just completed 4 shows this last weekend, and have 7 more to go before Christmas gets here. It's going to be a long week at the theater. At least there's a great view. :D Here are a few shots from this last weekend. Hope you enjoy them.
Sig

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RX100 M4, F 2.8, 1/200, ISO 1000
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Last edited by smulnik on Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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smulnik
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:56 pm

This year there was more smoke on stage than usual. I think the stagehands were getting over zealous with those machines. :)

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aster
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby aster » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:02 pm

.

Hi Sig; :)

These are lovely shots of what happens on the side lines, backstage and on stage. Well done. :) Good of you to find the time to use the camera between your own dance parts. Very enjoyable to hear that you are also dancing, although you do sound a little overwhelmed with too many Nutcraker shows pending until Christmas... :D
Hope it'll be a breeze and not too boring for you. Share photos with us from time to time, please. Maybe the distraction will help. :D

Thanks for sharing,
Yildiz

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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby ValeryD » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:12 am

Nice! Very interesting a point view on Nutcracker.
Everything in the life unusual!

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smulnik
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:13 am

Thanks guys!

aster wrote:Very enjoyable to hear that you are also dancing, although you do sound a little overwhelmed with too many Nutcraker shows pending until Christmas... :D

Yes, it is a bit overwhelming, but it just wouldn't feel like Christmas without it. :)
Sig

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Quite a bit of smoke in this one.
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Last edited by smulnik on Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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smulnik
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:22 am

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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby jbtaylor » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:21 pm

Excellent work but the last one stands out for me.

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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby aster » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:51 pm

.

Indeed, no Christmas is complete without the magical tale of the Nutcracker, Sig. :)
One more day to go and it's all going to be good memories for all thanks to your colourful staging of this classic.
All shots are lovely. The last two stand out for me for your choice of good angles and the precision/harmony in the dancers' moves and costumes; they are indeed good ballerinas! (as seen in the last shot, even their legs are in the same angle when up in the air)
About the smoke; I think it adds to the charm and mystery. Hope it's harmless for the dancers' lungs.

Thanks for sharing,
Yildiz

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smulnik
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:35 am

Thanks guys! I prefer those last two shots too, as well as the "cathedral-esque" shots like the second photo in my first post up top. However, all of the dancers have different tastes in photos, so I try to give them a variety of compositions.

For the smoke, they use two types: dry ice smoke and chemical smoke. The dry ice smoke is thick and stays low to the surface of the stage and is harmless. The chemical smoke is more "airy" and envelops the entire stage (and backstage areas) from top to bottom. One of the stagehands who runs one of the chemical smoke machines wears a mask because the high concentration of smoke at her location irritates her throat. If it gets too thick on stage it can be an irritant to the contact lenses in my eyes, but that's rare. Most of the time it's far less risky than being in a smokey pub.

Here's one more set of photos. I hope no one minds. :) These are all from the downstage left wing. It had a little spot where I could sit on the floor and stay out of everyone's way... and it was in close proximity to my second act entrances.

Thanks for looking!
Sig

A99, 24-70 ZA, F 3.2, 1/400, ISO 1600
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smulnik
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:38 am

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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby jbtaylor » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:31 pm

Again, fine work.
Ever thought of getting close enough for live action portraits?

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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby ValeryD » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:49 pm

I should admit, all shots done very professional with a knowledge of dance. :)
I know it from some work we done for "Moscow ballet". They agreed to publish the material only after watching the work of the director, etc. :) All "G" points in the dance must be correct in the pictures. Of more than 300 pictures left 120. :) ....

smulnik!
Very cool professional work.
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aster
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby aster » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:05 pm

.

I enjoy your on/off stage shots very much, Sig, I'd miss them very much if you suddenly stopped. :D

All photos are delightful and being a Ballet enthusiast, I can never tire of look at any photo of such scenes and yours are top quality; being a dancer yourself, you know what angles are good and where and how to get them. With each photo set your scene coverage changed and provided diversity. It's no different than standing by your side or being part of the show with these shots of yours, which is the best feeling ever. :D

The information on the smoke is good to know. The things we endure when doing what we love or have to do ... :D

Thanks for sharing,

Yildiz

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smulnik
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:18 pm

jbtaylor wrote:Ever thought of getting close enough for live action portraits?

Thanks, and yes... I have done portraits of them while dancing, but they’re not popular with the dancers. :?
They put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making their legs and feet do amazing things, so that’s what they want to show-off.
Sig
Last edited by smulnik on Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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smulnik
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Re: Nutcracker from Backstage

Unread postby smulnik » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:25 pm

ValeryD wrote:I should admit, all shots done very professional with a knowledge of dance. :)
I know it from some work we done for "Moscow ballet". They agreed to publish the material only after watching the work of the director, etc. :) All "G" points in the dance must be correct in the pictures. Of more than 300 pictures left 120. :) ....

Thanks Valery!
The Moscow Ballet?... that had to be a lot of fun! :D

I can relate to your experience with dance photos. Dance companies are very strict with photography. They want the dancers to be photographed with their entire bodies in appropriate positions.

The 120 out of 300 photographs ratio is about the same percentage (50%) that I get when I take photos at the studio rehearsals, or from the audience seats in the theater. However, when I take photos from the stage wings the percentage drops significantly. With all of the additional backstage hazards (stagehands, dancers, prop tables, sets, drops, and bright lights) the success ratio is about 1 out of 10 (10%).
Sig
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