Dance

Section



Art Dance History Photography

Dances and Branches: Colossal's Most-Read Stories of 2021

December 29, 2021

Colossal

We spent the last year collaborating with creatives from every corner of the planet to publish nearly 700 articles and interviews that range from art, design, and photography to science and history. As we plan our coverage for 2022, we’re looking back at some of the stories you read most (thank you!). And in case you missed it, make sure you check out Colossal’s favorite short films and books from 2021, too.

 

Nine Massive Waves of Deadwood Surge Across a Forest Floor Near Hamburg

Between November 2020 and March 2021, Jörg Gläscher gathered deadwood and constructed nine massive crests that overwhelm the forest floor in undulating layers of branches and twigs.

 

Mammoth Straw Creatures Populate Japanese Farmland in the Annual Wara Art Festival

Enormous tarantulas, eagles, and dinosaur-like creatures occupy Japan’s Niigata Prefecture as part of the Wara Art Festival, a summertime event that displays massive animals and mythical creations fashioned from the rice crop’s leftover straw.

 

An Intimate Photographic Series Glimpses the Lives of the Children Who Fish in Ghana’s Lake Volta

Photographer Jeremy Snell unveils the more sinister side of Ghana’s Lake Volta through an intimate and profound series documenting the lives of the children working in the region.

 

‘Beneath the Bird Feeder’ Documents the Spectacular Wildlife Visiting a Wintertime Food Source

During the winter months of late 2020 into early 2021, Carla Rhodes photographed a diverse cast of cold-weather adventurers, including a brilliant northern cardinal, numerous pairs of mourning doves, and furry little field mice, that visited her birdfeeder.

 

Impasto Marks and Thick Dabs of Paint Render Dreamy Landscapes in Rich Layers of Color

Russian artist Anastasia Trusova works in a style she terms “textured graphic impressionism” that involves deftly layering acrylic paints into lush foliage, clouds, and fields of wildflowers.

 

A Restored Vermeer Painting Reveals a Hidden Cupid Artwork Hanging in the Background

2021 changed the way we understand a 17th-century painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. What was once thought to be a somewhat glum depiction of a young girl was revealed to be an amorous portrayal complete with a naked Cupid in the background.

 

Cheeky Busts by Gerard Mas Are Sculpted with a Contemporary Twist

The women artist Gerard Mas sculpts are spirited and unconventional as they blow a wad of bubblegum, sport visible tan lines, or unabashedly dig in their noses. Each corset-clad figure is steeped in humor and wit as it casts a contemporary light on the traditional form.

 

Herds of Life-Sized Elephants Roam Through London’s Parks for a Global Conservation Project

Sixty migrating elephants passed between Piccadilly and Buckingham Palace in London’s Green Park earlier this year as one of nine herds roaming throughout the city. The lumbering creatures are part of a collaboration that explores how humans can better live alongside animals.

 

Ceramic Mosaics Mend Cracked Sidewalks, Potholes, and Buildings in Vibrant Interventions by Ememem

Throughout his home city of Lyon, Ememem is known as “the pavement surgeon” because he repairs gouged sidewalks with colorful mosaics.

 

A Mesmerizing Dance Performance for the Paralympics Hand-Off Ceremony Choreographed by Sadeck Waff

As part of a closing hand-off ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, choreographer Sadeck Waff worked with 128 performers in a dizzying performance focused on arms and hands.

 

Chicago’s Manual Cinema Reveals How Its Shadow Puppets Became a Defining Feature of the New ‘Candyman’

Nia DaCosta’s Candyman is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history and draws in local artists, like the talented team at Manual Cinema. Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson interviewed co-artistic director Drew Dir when the film was released to discuss the unprecedented process of using shadow puppets in a blockbuster live-action film, experimenting with the technical limits of the medium, and conveying a story of racism and trauma.

 

 



Dance Photography

A Wind Gust Propels a Graceful Cast Toward the Sea in a Fantastical Burberry Ad

October 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

A dreamy new ad for Burberry meditates on the dual powers of humanity and nature. Directed by Megaforce, “Open Spaces” zeroes in on four figures as they venture into a wheat field when a strangely powerful gust of wind propels them across the landscape. They subsequently rush toward a steep cliff in graceful, choreographed movements before saving each other in an airborne embrace. You can find more from the Paris-based director, who’s worked on promotional videos for the BBC, Tame Impala, and an array of high-end brands, on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 



Dance

A Mesmerizing Dance Performance for the Paralympics Hand Off Ceremony Choreographed by Sadeck Waff

October 19, 2021

Christopher Jobson

As part of a closing hand-off ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and the 2024 games in Paris, choreographer Sadeck Waff worked with 128 performers in a dizzying performance focused on arms and hands. The French dancer and choreographer has become known for his limb-centric performances which you can watch more of on Instagram. Music by Woodkid. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 

 



Dance Photography

Amorphous Explosions of Particles Envelop Dancers in Digital Compositions by Jean-Yves Lemoigne

September 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jean-Yves Lemoigne, shared with permission

In his aptly titled series Dancing with Particles, photographer Jean-Yves Lemoigne accentuates the curves of bodies in motion with coiled ribbons, paint-like splashes, and bursts of bright dots. Created digitally with a focus on texture and complementary colors, the sculptural compositions follow the long lines of a leg or erupt from a torso in amorphous swirls, creating an interaction between the often airborne figures and Lemoigne’s CGI additions. You can see the rest of the series and find more from the photographer, who splits his time between New York and Paris, on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Amazing Dance

A Clip in Extreme Slow Motion Shows Every Detail of Simone Biles's Amazing Triple-Double

June 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

Simone Biles claimed her seventh U.S. gymnastics title last weekend, in part thanks to an impeccably executed triple-double (a.k.a. three twists performed during two backflips). A short clip captures the star athlete, who hasn’t lost an all-around competition in eight years, as she completes the perfect sequence in extreme slow motion—you might want to watch the full routine first for perspective—showing how she gently turns herself over in two backflips before launching herself multiple feet into the air. After a seemingly gravity-defying series of flips and bends, she nails the landing in an absolutely stunning feat. (via Kottke)

 

 



Dance

Duplicate Figures Freeze in Motion as a Dancer Writhes and Contorts Her Body in an Entrancing Short Film

May 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

Weakness of the Flesh” is a captivating and eerie short film that appears to clone dancer Emma Rosenzweig-Bock, who twists and contorts her body amongst a sea of her own figure. Shot in Los Angeles, the disquieting piece contrasts Rosenzweig-Bock’s graceful sequences with more compulsive, Suspiria-esque jolts as she writhes and pulls her dirt-covered body from the concrete. As she dances, her doubles glitch and freeze in position, sometimes predicting her next move or remaining still in a previous bend.

Co-directed, animated, and edited by Kevin McGloughlin with a score by Max Cooper, “Weakness of the Flesh” was produced by Jacob Jonas The Company as part of Films.Dance, a series of 15 short films created during the pandemic that merge dance, film, fashion, and music. You can watch the other performances on Vimeo.