Dance Photography Day I: Arnold Genthe, Fe Alf

I will publish some of my favorite dance photographs in the next 24 days, not in any specific order. They are not organized by priority or by “most favorite” to “least favorite”, as all of them are special and unique, and it would be impossible for me to give them an exact ranking.

Arnold Genthe, Fe Alf, no date

This beautiful photograph of dance Fe Alf is in the Library of Congress ( I couldn’t find a lot of information on the dancer, but isn’t she just beautiful? I love this image because the dancer is taking a very exceptional pose, with her arms behind her back, and her hands flexed away from the arms. She looks as if leaning on something invisible, while at the same time conveying her strength that she would never have to lean on a table or any other object with her well-trained body. Her feet, her dress, the rhythm between black and white, I like everything. And what interests me most is the fact that you can see the vertical boundaries of the panel she is standing in font of. There is ample space above her head, so Genthe could have gone a little closer in order to avoid seeing those lines. Why didn’t he do it? Did he want to leave room for the lighter part above her head? Did he want to show a larger stage?

I will show you more works by Arnold Genthe, and I will surely research more about his life and work, but in the meantime, you can read more about him here.


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