Pathos - πάθος, ους, τόSaturday, October 15, 2016
When Peggy first came into my studio for a photo session for the Georgia Straight she was a young and exciting ballerina. Best of all she was smart. I was impressed by her ambition. A few weeks after the session, she called me up to tell me that she had enjoyed the experience and wanted me to take more photographs. This I did. It was fun for me too as she was an excellent subject.
Then one day she called. Her tone of voice seemed to be light (she was actively making it seem so). She told me something like this, “I am still dancing but I am changing my profession.” I had my suspicions but I did not want to reveal it. She then suggested that I take some photographs that would reflect the change. It was then that she told me that she was abandoning her ballet and becoming an exotic dancer. Knowing this I suggested that she bring all the clothes related to both professions and that we would do a sequence.
|The first session with Peggy for Georgia Straight cover|
At the time I was most interested in photographic sequences. I called them narratives and they consisted of five (sometimes three) smallish photograph inserted in one long mat and then framed.
Some of my sequences featured my eldest granddaughter (as a very young dancer) posing individually and alternating with her ballet teacher. Another was of a Japanese woman coming into my studio dressed in a kimono and then shedding it little by little. One sequence I have often shot is of a woman in which only in the last and fifth picture do you find out she is 9 months pregnant.
The session with Peggy had an unpredictable conclusion. She shed her ballet outfit completely which included her ballet shoes. Then she began to put on very red and very high heeled shoes. It was then that she began to cry. In fact she began to cry (as I look at this photograph) when she posed for me naked but with the protection of her slipper by her face.
But there was a happy ending to this. Peggy became (until she quit and is now a jewelry designer) the best pole dancer I have ever seen. And she has recently communicated that she is returning to BC from Alberta in the spring. It would seem that we are going to renew our photographic relationship.