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RIP Martha Swope


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I liked Delia Peters' comment:  “Having been a dancer, she understood the timing. She understood what they were going to do, she understood where the pictures were going to be.”  But this observation comes even closer for me:  "And she brought ... to those who couldn’t buy tickets." 

 

That's what good photography does for dance -- it can show us artworks that are no longer performed and artists who are no longer alive.  Swope (whose name I misread for years as "Swoop," which felt very appropriate) showed me a part of my community that I wasn't able to see in person.  I have always been very grateful.

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One of the greatest photographers in any medium. Her photos were instantly identifiable. The shot of Kent and Villella in 'Scotch Symphony,' where he appears to hold her down lest she fly away, is unparalleled.

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16 hours ago, Drew said:

I "grew up" so to speak with many of her photos--that is they were touchstones for me as for many ballet lovers...Rest in Peace.

 

Same here. I think I spent many, many hours pouring over her photos in the 80's.

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FYI a publicity photo for MOURKA. 

 

This photo appears on the opening pages of my copy of MOURKA, The Autobiography of a Cat, Sidgwick and Jackson Ltd/London/1965, with the following text:

 

"My name is Mourka.

I am an orange and white

Americat, male -- but

more about me later.

Let me tell you about

my feline tree."

 

Eventually, on the penultimate page of the text, there's a related photo, with the following caption:

 

"A falling satellite almost hit me,

but I dodged it gracefully."

 

MSsMwm.jpgMSsMx.jpg

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