A self-declared lover of beauty and gentleness Nir Arieli‘s photographs of male dancers combine those passions with great technical skill. For this series, which he titled “Tension,” Arieli described his role as being a “visual choreographer.” The portraits are the outcome of a verbal dialogue between the photographed dancer and Arieli and of the work he says, “I don’t pre-determine the result-insisting on well-planned perfectness-but rather establish a strong understanding, let the dancer improvise and capture his movements. Afterwards, I experiment with layering various photos on top of each other, searching for intriguing combinations.” Dependent on coincidence and uncontrollable movements, Arieli trusts the physical intelligence of his subjects.
Arieli began his career as a photographer for the Israeli military. Perhaps this is where his interest in capturing the physical abilities of the male body emerged. Unusual in their depiction of the male (versus female) form as a source of grace and beauty, the images are striking for their sense of movement. In his statement Arieli says, “I can’t dance, I can’t in my room, nor in a club, let alone any kind of stage. Whenever I am forced to try I stumble or freeze or drink enough to disappear. However, this time, for the first time, I found myself actively involved in dancing-even if by using someone else’s body.” Indeed, as a viewer, we feel involved with the dancer, as impossible as the postures might be for us. Arieli wonderfully captured the movement and allowed us to feel a part of it. (via LensCulture)