After speaking with Peter Frampton this week, I was nostalgic and inspired to write about my time working with the Cincinnati Ballet during their 50th anniversary season and covering their shows for CityBeat and Corbis Images. At the time I was covering the ballet, Peter Frampton and his longtime composing partner Gordon Kennedy had created the music for one of their ballet pieces called “Hummingbird in a Box.” My music photo and ballet photo worlds came together and it was fantastic so I was so happy to be able to see the piece with Peter at a performance in NYC at the Joyce Theater.
The ballet usually performs at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati but in 2014 I was able to join the company and cover their first show in NYC in over 35 years at the Joyce Theater. The show program in NYC included Hummingbird in a Box, set to seven new songs by grammy-winning Frampton, Chasing Squirrel, a daring and eccentric work by Trey McIntyre, and Caprice, a new ballet by Val Caniparoli. Hummingbird in a Box was choreographed by Adam Hougland.
The show in New York highlighted the skills of some of my most beloved dancers at the company including a Liang Fu, James Gilmer , Patric Palkens and Sarah Hairston. Many of these dancers have gone on from Cincinnati to continue their amazing dance journey. James Gilmer is now part of the word famous Alvin Ailey dance company. Patric is now a soloist at the Boston Ballet and longtime principal dancer Sarah Hairston is Director of Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Dance Academy.
I took ballet classes for a decade when I was younger so I am always so excited to be able to photograph professional ballet dancers. For several years when my travel schedule permitted I would shoot studio and dress rehearsals with the ballet company here in Cincinnati. It was a great joy to be able to see the productions come together and all of the hard work that goes into producing the shows.