This Amazing Photo Project is a mix of Ballet, Fashion & Landscape

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The Startling Ballerina Project Shoots Ballerinas in Normal Poses but in Abnormal Places

The New York City Ballerina Project is an ongoing series of photos which started in 2000. It has taken ballerinas and their craft away from the barre and the stage. The project is very well known and is followed by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

Photographer Dane Shitagi, the founder of the Ballerina Project, seems to be proud that his project has survived more than 16 years.

Moreover, he believes that the feedback from followers, shows that the Ballerina Project has been successful. In other words, it has managed to be an empowering inspiration to all the aspiring dancers and photographers around the world.

Currently, the Ballerina Project has one of the largest number of followers among ballet related pages on Instagram and Facebook. Additionally, the project has been written about well in the press and numerous blogs.

Ballerina Project - Street
Photo by Dane Shitagi | Image source:

Elegant Dance Pose in a Mysterious Setting

Graceful ballet dancers adopt majestic dance poses as their pretty pointe shoes contrast with the atypical, albeit beautiful background.

Ballerina Project - Park
Riverside Park, New York, Photo by Dane Shitagi | Image source:

Furthermore, the ballerinas’ forms, poses, and accomplishments seem exceptionally sensual and artful. Each photo is actually a combination of ballet, fashion, culture and architecture. Not to mention the excellent mastery of the art of photography itself.

Ballerina Project - Nature
Central Park NYC, Photo by Dane Shitagi | Image source:

On the whole, the perfect use of light, together with the ballerina’s elegant mood, creates a poetic collection of photos. This sublime masterpiece seems to be timeless.

Ballerina project
Image source:

The flexibility of a skillful ballet dancer, captured against a stunning landscape background, could be truly glamorous. Ironically, it’s important to realize that the resulting photo could be pretty dangerous!

Ballerina Project
Isabella Boylston, Photo by Dane Shitagi for the designer Norma Kamali | Image source:

Unusual but Mysterious Image Background

However, the photo shoot could take place anywhere but the dance studio. For instance, the photo background could vary from street art to various buildings and structures.

Ballerina Project - Park
Central Park NYC, Photo by Dane Shitagi | Image source:

Apparently, Shitagi takes ballerinas far from the stage to make the photos depict the dreams of the dancers.

Ballerina Project - Isabella Boylston
Isabella Boylston, New York | Image source:

According to Shitagi, contrary to most people’s belief, the location of the photo shoot is of secondary importance. In fact, it’s still the ballerina who plays the main role. To put it another way, the locations are more fitting to a particular ballet dancer than the other way round.

Ballerina Project
Cassie, Central Park, New York City | Image source: project

Ballerina Project shoots not only the brilliant dance moves, but the raw energy, emotion and spirit of the dancer.

Ballerina Project - Park
Sarah (Claire Robbins), East Village, New York City | Image source: ballerinaproject.tumblr

It’s worth mentioning that Shitagi has amassed hundreds of images of professional ballet dancers, some retired and some currently at top ballet companies.

Ballerina Project
Melissa, Central Park, NYC | Image source: ballerinaproject.tumblr

Only Top Ballet Dancers Allowed

Ballerina Project
Image source :

Not surprisingly, Shitagi only works with professional ballet dancers or advanced students. As a matter of fact, he believes that it’s horrible when people feel like they can put pointe shoes on any female and call them a ballerina.

Ballerina Project - Park
Isabella D, Central Park NYC | Image source: ballerinaproject.tumblr

Not everyone can do it. Behind the photos of ballet dancers in tutus and elegant costumes, lies the countless hours of training. Not to mention a whole life dedicated to ballet.

Ballerina Project
Central Park NYC | Image source:

To summarize, Ballerina Project is not your typical vision of dance photography. you might as well call it an ‘inspiring image art’. Rather than focus on the dancing, the project primarily portrays the dancers, their poses, along with their hearts and souls.

Each photo evokes a continuous flow of dance, beauty and harmony, Even though it is just a still image taken in a fraction of a second.

We suggest checking out also: Richest Ballet Dancers in the World

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