Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dancers Tweeting Among Us

Last week I shot dance photographs for Skybetter and Associates, a contemporary dance company in NYC that is performing at the Joyce in June. I wanted to do something fun and different, so I proposed creating a social media campaign utilizing social media in the photographs. The goal is to encourage people to follow the company's Facebook and Twitter posts religiously, and I wanted to show the dancers actively video blogging, Facebook posting and tweeting, even in the most unexpected moments - since they never stop updating, you should never stop following them.

The company members - Kristen Arnold, Gary Schaufeld, Jennifer Jones and Jordan Isadore - were exciting to collaborate with because they were up for anything. Sydney Skybetter, the Big Kahuna, gave me free rein to do whatever I wanted. Once he saw the process unfold, he began to fear backlash from NYU, but he bit his tongue and perhaps even enjoyed himself. As planned, we began by shooting in the rehearsal space, but then I wanted more creative options. That led us to the ladies room, the dressing room, and - my favorite - the shower!

This photograph features the irrepressible Jennifer Jones, who I've used several times in my Dancers Among Us series. I've asked her to do some crazy things, including jumping through a blizzard, but at least she's kept her clothes on.

Until now.

Jennifer suggested a terrific tag line for this photo - "There's so much more to see. Follow us on Facebook."

All artists steal from each other, but this next idea I stole from myself. Here's a photograph from Dancers Among Us.

And here's Kristen Arnold, utilizing her very expressive toes in the NYU bathroom.

My tag line- "We can't hold anything back. Follow us on Facebook."

Here's Kristen again, this time using her iPhone to tweet while applying makeup, as Gary Schaufeld blogs in the background.

Here's Sydney's tag line- "We never stop tweeting. No seriously. We have a problem."

These next rehearsal photos attempt to capture the heightened state of narcissism that social media has exposed. If we don't post about it, does it even happen? It's a new twist on the 'tree falling in the woods' scenario.

Jennifer video blogging, Jordan Isadore updating Facebook, and Caleb Custer live streaming while Sydney films himself and I photograph everyone.

Kristen and Gary rehearsing an intimate moment while recording themselves, as Sydney watches the footage.

My tag line for both images- "Others wait until after rehearsal to post. That's so 2010."

If you think of any fun tag lines for these photos, please post them on my Facebook fan page. We're having a contest. And if you think of cool scenarios for future images, post those as well. We will continue adding photos to this campaign.

By the way, doesn't this series look like an Apple campaign? Perhaps a corporate sponsorship is imminent. Anyone know Steve Jobs?

PS We had invited an additional group of dancers to join us for background action, but I decided against using them - it felt too cluttered. I want to thank everyone for showing up and participating in the process - I'm sorry I wasn't able to incorporate you into the photos. I hope you enjoyed yourselves anyway, and I'm sorry I never wore that leotard.