From the busy streets of Hong Kong to the energetic streets of Rio de Janeiro, master of dance photography Omar Z. Robles has explored the world, capturing local ballet dancers as they pose through city scenes.
For his most recent photo project, Bare Sky Dance, Robles takes his photos to the next level by shooting his subjects New York City rooftops. Aside from taking to high vantage points, Robles also asked the dancers to present nude, observing the human kind and showing their vulnerable side.
Robles explains,”As a photographer, I hope to picture the nude form for the same reason artists throughout millennia have been attracted to it. Because it is expressive and beautiful. Taking a different approach to his past endeavors, Robles decided to ask the amateurs why they chose to be photographed naked. He tells My Modern Met in an email,”I wanted to switch the tables and let the dancers be not just the images but also the voices supporting their photographs.”
Each photograph was printed alongside the subjects’ individual stories and adventures, giving an intimate view of their worlds. One dancer, Brittany Cavaco, bravely shows that she’d previously been a victim of sexual assault and that the episode has made her extremely body aware. However, after shooting the Bare Sky Dance series, she states:
“The day we happened to shoot was cold and rainy, not the typical day one feels inspired to dance onto a rooftop nude. Nevertheless standing on the rooftop, my entire body exposed to the world, I felt self-conscious, vulnerable and ashamed, I felt free and proud.”
Another dancer from the series, Cassandra Orefice, stated:
“For me posing for Omar’s new show was a celebration in the freedom that dancing has given me. The freedom to be pleased with my art and also the body which helps me do it” She–along with all the other dancers–strike powerful poses, highlighting their beauty and confidence in that instant. Robles clarifies,”The dancers were able to bare not just their own bodies but also their souls within the NYC skies.”
You can read and see more in the Bare Sky Dance series on Robles’s website.