As a photographer who normally works in and around performance, particularly dance, the lockdown and the attendant closure of all theatres and cancellation of all performances has been difficult from an artistic perspective. What has been wonderful to see is the proliferation of live-streams by dance companies, to enable audiences to see full-length works online that normally could only be seen in the theatre. It is both a reminder of the live performance art forms that we love and a much-needed solace at a difficult and uncertain time.
Just because there are no live performances now doesn’t mean that the need or the urge to photograph performance goes away. As such, during this time of lockdown, I’ve been making images from video of performances streamed as a result of and in response to COVID-19. These are not the images I would make if I were photographing the live performance and they are not intended to mimic live performance photography. It is obvious that these images are made from video – there is a strange haze at the outlines and the images are somehow both sharp and blurred at the same time.
There is also the looming question of what the future of live performance will be in a post-COVID world. How can the live arts survive this prolonged period of lockdown and the subsequent period of social distancing that may be required?
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