Dance Like Nobody's Watching: How SF Bay Area Artists Create while Quarantined

  • Photographer
    Kyle Adler
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Company/Studio
    Kyle Adler Photography
  • Date of Photograph
    Apr. 10 - Jun. 1, 2020
  • Technical Info
    Full frame. Exposure settings vary by image.

I launched the "Dance Like Nobody's Watching" Project as a testament to the resilient spirit of the creative community during these trying times. The project adheres to the SF Bay Area's strict shelter-in-place orders while allowing local dancers to create, inspiring others to keep the artistic community strong during our quarantine, raising funds for those most in need, and documenting this surrealistic period in our history. I have conducted "distanced photoshoots" with nearly 40 dancers representing a diverse range of backgrounds, dance styles, and quarantine experiences.

Story

Everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I realized during the first half of March that photographers have a key role to play in documenting and inspiring positive change during this chapter of history. That’s when the San Francisco Bay Area became the first region in the U.S. to impose shelter-in-place orders, and when I experienced firsthand the unprecedented upheaval this situation is forcing upon local performing artists, many of whom are my clients. The performing arts community has been especially hard-hit, as new restrictions resulted in the cancellation of public performances, arts classes, and other mainstays of their income. Dancers face the additional challenge, as elite athletes, of needing daily workouts to maintain the physical conditioning required to create their art. So, I launched the Dance Like Nobody’s Watching project as a testament to the resilient spirit of the creative community during these trying times. The project adheres to the San Francisco Bay Area’s shelter-in-place orders while allowing local dancers to create, inspiring the artistic community to remain strong during our quarantine, raising funds for those most in need, and documenting this surrealistic period in our history. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching is a work-in-progress, with nearly 40 “distanced photoshoots” conducted so far. I want to capture the local creative community’s remarkable diversity. Of paramount importance is to include a broad range of dance styles, dancer backgrounds, and quarantine situations. The dancers whom I’ve featured thus far practice a wide range of movement styles, from hip hop to hula, from ballet to Bharatanatyam, as well as pole dance, Thai classical dance, jazz, aerial and more. They all have volunteered their time to participate in the project, as have I. It is my hope that the project will inspire others to create in a myriad of ways and will serve as a lasting document to the resilience of the artistic spirit during this pandemic.

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