Lois Greenfield is a legendary dance photographer from New York, who captures the beauty and form of the most talented dancers of our time. Greenfield began her career as a photojournalist, but was drawn to the graphic potential of dance. She covered the experimental dance scene for the Village Voice from 1973 to the mid 90’s. In 1982, she decided to open a studio where she could not only control the lighting, but could also direct the dancers in her exploration of the expressive possibilities of photographed movement. Her unique approach to photographing the human form in motion has radically redefined the genre and influenced a generation of photographers.
I’ve spent the last 40 years of my photographic career investigating movement and its expressive potential. My inspiration has always been photography’s ability to stop time and reveal what the naked eye cannot see. What intrigues me is making images that confound and confuse the viewer, but that the viewer knows, or suspects, really happened.
The ostensible subject of my photographs may be motion, but the subtext is time. A dancer’s movements illustrate the passage of time, giving it a substance, materiality, and space. In my photographs, time is stopped, a split second becomes an eternity, and an ephemeral moment is solid as sculpture. My interest in photography is not to capture an image I see or even have in my mind, but to explore the potential of moments I can only begin to imagine.
I prefer to work outside the constraints of choreography, collaborating with dancers on improvised, non-repeatable, often high-risk moments. These moments are not plucked from a continuum, but exist only as isolated instants. I allow the dancers to project a fluid identity for the camera and showcase a different persona in each photo, producing images that represent dreams of our constantly shifting selves.