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What gives Marty Sohl's photos the edge, making for photography of dancers that both captures their stage magic and, using an alchemy of lighting, flare for timing, and experience on both sides of the footlights, adds a still-motion allure that both honors the dance creation and creates something new? Perhaps Richard Philp, the long-time editor of Dance Magazine, put it best: "Marty's early experience as a dancer gives her work a distinctly personal point of view.... Her photos convey a strong instinct for timing and line. Knowing dance from the inside, she captures on film that exact moment at the peak of an arc of movement. She is a master of tone and texture and atmosphere, often working with great success in the darker hues, with a rich palette of contrasting bright colors that gives her work dramatic depth and intensity." As a former dancer -- she performed for 10 years with Carlos Carvajal's San Francisco Bay Area-based Dance Spectrum -- Sohl knows how and when to arrest dancers in motion. But it's more than that. In nearly 30 years capturing everything from San Francisco Ballet -- where she worked for 20 years, also photographing San Francisco Opera -- to American Ballet Theatre to Argentine tango to the Metropolitan Opera, her major gig since 2004, Sohl has also proved that she can distinguish the merely gorgeous from the memorable. And, in the cases of San Francisco Ballet and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, has produced the iconic images of the companies. Sohl also has a nose for ballet; in 2004, she discovered the Texas-based Metropolitan Classical Ballet, directed by Balanchine scion Paul Mejia and Bolshoi alum Alexander Vetrov. Herewith, some of Sohl's MCB discoveries, photographed during the company's Summer 2010 performance at Texas Hall of the University of Texas in Arlington. (To see more of Sohl's work, and to order her breathtaking LINES calendar, you can visit her web site. And to read about the MCB performance, check Paul Ben-Itzak's Flash Review.)

Paul Mejia's "Brahms Waltzes" with, above the headline, the Metropolitan Classical Ballet; top, MCB's Maiko Abe and Andrey Prikhodko; and below, MCB guest artists Vilia Putruis and Mindaugas Bauzys. Photos by, copyright, and courtesy Marty Sohl.

Paul Mejia's "Cafe Victoria" with Metropolitan Classical Ballet guest artists Vilia Putruis and Mindaugas Bauzys. Photos by, copyright, and courtesy Marty Sohl.

Paul Mejia's "Cafe Victoria" with Vilia Putruis, Mindaugas Bauzys, and members of the Metropolitan Classical Ballet. Photos by, copyright, and courtesy Marty Sohl.

Metropolitan Classical Ballet guest artists Vilia Putruis and Mindaugas Bauzys in Paul Mejia's "Cafe Victoria." Photos by, copyright, and courtesy Marty Sohl.

Metropolitan Classical Ballet's Marina Goshko and Andrey Prikhodko in Paul Mejia's "Valse-Scherzo." Photo by, copyright, and courtesy Marty Sohl.

Metropolitan Classical Ballet in Alexander Vetrov's re-staging of Leonid Lavrovsky's 1941 "Walpurgis Night," with, from top: Ensemble (first three photos); Lea Essmyer, Marina Goshko, and Brittany Bollinger; Lea Essmyer; Maiko Abe; Maiko Abe and Evgeny Lushkin; and, in the last two images, Maiko Abe and David Barocio. Photos by, copyright, and courtesy Marty Sohl.

Flash Reviews
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