Tutus and Booboos

For the past few weeks, I've been going back and forth to my old ballet school to shoot some photos for my final photo essay (requirement in basic photography class). Being around them a lot made me miss ballet so much :( I'm kinda scared to go back though, they're all so skinny and I look so big beside them! And they've all improved a lot :D it's so funny how during the times when I was there, we wouldn't take tours and classes out of the country. But when my batch left, they've been going to the US and China :( unfair!

Anyway, here is an excerpt from my final photo essay, Tutus and Booboos :)

Behind everything beautiful is hard work and pain. This could be shown in many ways, for example, the story of Creation, or plastic surgery. But I decided to interpret this theory through the art of dance—ballet to be more exact.

Ballet is a formal type of dance that exudes a high level of grace and beauty. To a mere audience member, a dancer’s wonderful extensions, sky-high leaps and top-like turns would leave them in awe. It would seem like utter perfection, how flawless and fluid every movement is. Although ballerinas make their dancing seem effortless, being a ballerina myself, I know that behind all the stage lights and graceful performances are bloody toes, dead nails and cramped muscles. It is very difficult to achieve what is expected of ballerinas. You would have to live up to the “stereotype”—tall, slim and muscular—because that’s just how it is. Those extensions, suspensions in the air and turns don’t come naturally to most ballerinas. We all work hard to be able to showcase the skill, and to be able to execute them properly and beautifully is something that we earn. But what exactly is “working hard” in ballet?

Working hard is attending ballet class, sitting upright, maintaining a good posture, following a strict diet, having self-discipline and even going through injuries such as sprains, dislocation of the kneecaps, ACL, MCL, or having dead toenails. By working hard, you will be rewarded by being able to wear the pretty costumes and tiaras, getting yourself a new pair of ballet flats and pointe shoes, wearing the best leotards you got for dance class, being given a nice variation for a performance and who knows, being given the lead role in a ballet. Being given the chance to perform in front of an audience is also actually a reward in itself.

Featuring the dancers from the Effie Nanas Dancentre and Philippine Ballet Theater, I aim to show the two sides of ballet: the side the audience sees and the side only the dancers know about, through this photo essay.

More from this photo set here :)

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