When I arrived at the rehearsal space for the Sri Lanka Foundation dance troupe, I was excited, as I had never before seen this type of dance. The Sri Lanka Foundation seeks "...to empower and inspire hope for improved lives and livelihood of Sri Lankans and related communities worldwide." Throughout this day I was amazed at how the dancers achieved this through their craft.
I arrived prepared, with my camera, lights, sandbags, tripods... well, let's just say I had almost anything I might need to get the shot. Once situated, I met the head dancers, Chathuri Wickramarachchi and Lal Thilakarathna. In addition to choreographing the routines for the troupe and dancing beautifully, Chathuri and Lal are also instructors and highly respected in their field. They were also super friendly and helped me to understand what they were doing so we could get the needed shots. (Thank you.)
From my previous conversations with my client, I knew we had limited time and needed to work efficiently in photographing the troupe. I was now told the outfits used in actual performances took a bit of time to put on. Given this, we began by photographing the rehearsal with all dancers dressed in black. The rehearsal started off with everyone doing stretches. Now, since I took ballet and jazz when I was younger, I thought I knew what to expect. What I expected was not what I got. There were significant differences, as you'll see.
See some stretches and poses here:
The troupe then went to change into their performance outfits. I was not expecting what I saw! I went into the changing room and fabric was everywhere: bright reds and golds in many different textures. The lead dancer, Chathuri, informed me their legs were wrapped in six yards of one piece of fabric. Think about six yards for a moment: that is a lot of fabric, and when you look closely you can see just how many times it’s wrapped around the dancers' legs!
I had utilized the time when they were changing to set up for the next shots. So, once the troupe was ready, we started right into the next set of shots:
The lead dancers did many leaps and jumps which were so unexpected that I was in awe, especially with the beautiful and intricate outfits they wore.
As we were shooting for promotional purposes, we of course got group shots.
These dancers are dedicated artists of a unique craft. It really was amazing to see them achieve the purpose of their foundation stated above through their dance.
Thank you for taking the time to read about this shoot and look at the shots. Please do use the social media buttons below to like, comment, and share to your social media platform of choice. I would love to read your comments (and I know the dancers would too!) And if you'd like to see more of what I've been shooting, check out Isabella and Paul below.
Until next time,
P.S. This was a very fun shoot to be a part of, but I actually get into interesting shoots all the time. Sign up below to get updates about different shoots I get to be a part of, along with a dash of inspiration for your next shoot. And while we're at it, let me know something interesting about yourself. I love meeting new people and learning new things about them (and learning new things about my old friends).