November 5th, 2007

D20 9121 Shakers I’ve done some digging around in the attic and found some of my old dance photos. These are from the dance, “Shakers” by Doris Humphrey. Doris Humphrey died in 1958, but this dance was performed at Ohio University in 1970 thanks to a system of writing down, or scoring, a dance that was used to record it for the future. I don’t have any information from the production, but I remember that there was a guest artist who came in to interpret the score and direct the choreography.

D20 9124 Shakers The photos here are from a newspaper full page layout about the dance. It was published in the Newark (Ohio) Advocate where I was working as a photographer during the summers while I went to school at Ohio University.

I don’t think I ever really knew why my newspaper decided to print this story about a dance concert that was already over and had happened at a college 100 miles away. Maybe my old friend Bruce Humphrey who was the photo editor at the Advocate back then can tell me…but I’d be really surprised if he remembers such a minor event that many years ago. Most likely they were just being nice to me.

D20 9126 Shakers This dance was absolutely electrifying. The tension between the men and the women was visible. Neither sex ever crossed the line in the middle of the stage. This, of course, was a representation of the celibacy of the Shaker movement.

D20 9127 Shakers
D20 9130 Shakers The quality of these files is not all that great. I photographed them from the original newspaper paste-up, which was put together with rubber cement in 1970. I simply took a photo with my D200 of each of the photos in the layout. I did a little clean up, but not too much. There is some damage from the rubber cement, but I think the prints have held up very well after all these years.
The original photos were taken with a Nikkormat Ftn using Tri-X film rated at 1600 ASA and developed in Acufine. Contrast was always a very tough problem back then. Boosting the film speed with Acufine was essential to get any image at all in the dark stage lighting, but doing so also boosted the contrast and the light was always contrasty to begin with. Printing was always a challenge.
I’ll be sharing some more of my old dance photos along with the new things I’ve started shooting. Right now Noise Ninja is hard at work on the more than 2,000 files from last week’s dance concert. That should be done and I should be able to start editing those photos tomorrow.

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About this Blog

Photos and comments by Dave Levingston. This is the place to see my most recent work which may include nudes, dance, landscape, nature and whatever other kinds of photos I feel like taking.

Since it does contain nude photos, this blog is not intended for viewing by anyone under the age of 18.

All photographs and written comments on this blog are protected by the copyright laws of the United States.

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