The work of dance photographer Rachel Neville, who is known for her striking images that often use unique lighting, graphics and fabrics surrounding dancers mid-movement, is on display at the new PurePoint Park Avenue Financial Center in New York City, from now through December.
PurePoint, a hybrid digital bank and division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is interested in being involved with and supporting local arts and artists, according to Neville. The bank, located at 53rd Street and Park Avenue on the ground floor, aims to offer a modern, streamlined space, with beautiful décor and a relaxed setting. Neville’s work is celebrated at the center’s debut and is the first in a rotating series planned.
“The pieces that were picked for the show run toward my taste in narrative and storytelling in dance photography,” Neville tells Dance Informa. “In my personal work, I love to sink my teeth into dance images that cause a viewer to take a moment and be in the scene, connecting the audience to the dancer, and the emotion of the moment is always my goal.”
The exhibit showcases never-before-seen photographs by Neville, who says she hopes people are able to be exposed to dance through viewing the exhibit and perhaps become inspired to attend a performance or show. “I hope the images cause people to take more than a passing moment to look at them, to really move in and see what the dancers and myself are trying to say,” she adds.
One particular photo as part of the exhibit, titled “The Bird”, features dancer Jorge Villarini in colorful body paint and a taxidermy bird. Neville says the image took about three weeks to put together and 30 minutes to shoot. While this photo was fully planned out in advance, other photos come from a spur-of-the-moment inspiration.
“I’m really passionate about creating images that help dancers and companies move their worlds forward, sell tickets, get jobs,” Neville shares. “I think we are in an era where we cannot ignore the power of good marketing, and I hope to help the dance world, in my way, thrive in the game.”
Neville, who has a dance background herself, has a strong reputation in the dance community for helping artists to look their very best in her images, by offering technical corrections and feedback through the common language she is able to share with them.
“I know what my clients are looking for because I am looking for it, too,” she says. “Our way of communicating is the same. I am almost more of a perfectionist when it comes to line and technique than most of the dancers whom I shoot. My teaching background allows for me to work with dancers who learn or move in different ways, helping them into their best shots. But the combination of my dance background and my commercial photography background is really where the difference comes in. I have developed a method over the last 10 years of translating what dancers do in three dimensions into two – the flat medium of a screen or print – that I feel is imperative for all dancers to learn how to work in.”
Rachel Neville’s photography will be on exhibit at PurePoint Financial Center, located at 374 Park Avenue in NYC, through December. The bank’s hours of operation are 9am-5pm, and anyone may enter the lobby to view the artwork. For more information on Rachel Neville, visit www.rachelneville.com.
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.