Every now and then I photograph a ballet dancer. A few weeks ago a dancer came to my studio for such a shoot. We had no plan. But what I sometimes do is give a dancer a theme and ask him or her to ‘dance it out’.
This dancer was Ahmad Joudeh. He is a professional ballet dancer who has danced with the Dutch National ballet. Ahmad comes from Syria. He is a refugee. His hometown has been completely destroyed.
I asked Ahmad to dance out the theme of the loss of faith. I really did not give him much instruction. He found a rope in my studio, turned on his own music, and started dancing. I picked up the camera and started photographing.
It was both a magical and mesmerizing experience. The rope turned out to be the perfect metaphor for faith. At first it makes us feel strong. Then we become entangled in it. Finally we need to let it go. I feel this images tell my story.
Ahmad, incidentally, is the subject of a documentary ‘Dance or Die’. The documentary has been nominated in the category for ‘best foreign documentary’ in the upcoming Emmy Awards (nov 25th).
I am not going to say anything else about these images. You can experience them as you wish.
One thought on “My story in dance”
Tears…flowing down my cheeks…as I’ve read your introduction and viewed each photo.
I’m a deconstructed middle-aged woman who has lost so much as a result of my struggle to be free from the ropes of indoctrination, religious legalism, patriarchy and misogyny.
Ahmad and Rogier, thank-you.
Keep shining. Keep speaking. Keep documenting. Keep dancing. Keep evolving.