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"Bodies Swayed to Music"Vanity Fair Dance Photo Retrospective


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#1 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 07:10 AM

Vanity Fair has posted a portfolio of dance photos going all the way back to its March 1986 issue (featuring a Bruce Weber portrait of Karol Armitage) and running up through the January 2011 issue (featuring a Weber portrait of Chase Finlay and Robert Fairchild). The Finlay / Fairchild portrait is accompanied by some...umm...frothy prose by Damien Woetzel, who was himself featured in one of Weber's VF portfolios (here). ABT men seem particularly well-represented. A so-bordering-on-cheesy-that-it-must-be-a-joke beefcake shot of Roberto Bolle by Bruce Weber is nicely offset by an Annie Liebovitz photo of Mark Morris looking for all the world like an avenging goddess straight out of a baroque fresco.

#2 papeetepatrick

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:22 AM

I think some of these were in their last round, weren't they? That we saw a year or two ago? I'm interested that I like this kind of thing less and less, it's pretty much froufrou, and some of them are awful.

The only ones I really liked were Gelsey and Miss Thomas (that's the best one IMO) and Farrell. The worst is Baryshnikov as window-washer on skyscraper, or whatever that nonsense is. The Bolle not really cheesey to me so much, as just inept and graceless. I wouldn't have thought a dancer wouldn't know something that real underwear models do, but they clearly don't. The problem is either go all the way with that sort of thing or don't do it at all. Bolle's looks more like an old Maidenform ad than what he's aiming for here, but I think we saw it before anyway, didn't we? 'Cheesy' is what I'd call that gross Ethan Stiefel thing on the motorbike.

I recall liking some of Allegra's the most the last time we had these sorts of collections, but this one a bit de trop. Who knows? maybe it's the same one.

yielding an American hero straight out of Kerouac—the sweet-natured kind of guy who ends each sentence with the hint of a question, a slight upturn in tone that leaves the intent hanging, and who executes every ballet step, no matter how complex, with a throwaway, this-is-easy style, suggesting that there’s more to come, more to be revealed—that’s Robert “Robbie” Fairchild. In sharp contrast, we have a sure-stepping blond son of coastal Connecticut, born to wear blue blazers with well-shined shoes


See what you mean about the prose, 'sure-stepping blond son of coastal Connecticut' is a total camp, but he's not bad on Mr. Fairchild, who is quite a beauty (I hadn't known that.)

Just looked again: The Herman Cornejo in the studio is pretty magical. Unfortunately, the Angel one is just that--unfortunate--as if he were trying to be a figurine or something. You don't the slightest idea what this handsome fellow is about from something of such preciosity.

#3 Helene

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:26 AM

Yes, Woetzel's description of Finley/Fairchild was :lol:

I didn't even have to read the caption scrolling up from the shot of Bolle to know it was he.

Kistler's dress in #25, "Gotta Dance" was doing a dance of its own.

Has there ever been a bad photo of Merce Cunningham?

#4 papeetepatrick

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:35 AM

Kistler's dress in #25, "Gotta Dance" was doing a dance of its own.


Yeah, that one was beautiful, Darci and La Fosse do look wonderful there.

#5 Helene

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:54 AM

The only ones I really liked were Gelsey and Miss Thomas (that's the best one IMO)

The photo of Kirkland is Grahamesque.


The Herman Cornejo in the studio is pretty magical.

Tall is overrated.

#6 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:39 PM

Some of the photos (Mark Morris, Darci and Rob La Fosse) were beautiful works of art. Some revealed more than I want to know about the PHOTOGRAPHER'S soul/desires, to the point of overkill, obscenity, obsessiveness, silliness and irrelevance to dance. That's not what a photograph of a dancer should be.


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