Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Dance Expression", Portraits by Peggy Jarrell Kaplan from 17 May to 24 June

Dance Expression, by the New York-based photographer, Peggy Jarrell Kaplan, features portraits from 1986 to 2011 that relate to the history of French contemporary dance, the 2011 Dublin Dance Festival, and dance in Ireland. Kaplan has been photographing performing artists who explore new dance forms for more than three decades and has compiled a collection that represents almost all those choreographers that have come to define contemporary dance today.

Working within the tradition of black and white classical portraiture, Kaplan approaches dance obliquely, conveying qualities related to performance, but without reproducing it. Intense close-ups incorporate their own drama and implied corporeal energy. Kaplan sees the photographic studio as a small stage and questions the relevance of sincerity in our digital age.

Peggy Jarrell Kaplan has exhibited her portraits in international dance festivals and at performing arts venues in Europe, North America, and South America. She has a long association with French dance including exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou and at the French Institute Alliance Française in New York. Other series include a history of Japanese dance and underground visual artists from the Soviet Union. Her portraits of Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Pina Baush, William Forsythe, and Merce Cunningham have been widely reproduced. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The French writer, Jean-Marc Adolphe, has written of her work: In the reciprocal touch of the face and the image, the passion of the portraitist meets the passion of the choreographers.

This exhibition is part of the Dublin Dance Festival and will run from 17 May to 24 June in the Gallery of the Alliance Française.

Opening hours: Monday-Thursday: 8.30am - 7.30pm; Friday: 8.30am -; Saturday: 8.30am - 2pm

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