Photographer Rick Guest has captured haunting portraits of ballet dancers for his exhibition “What Lies Beneath”. Covent Garden is the ballet heart of London, so having the exhibition at The Hospital Club located a stones throw away from the Royal Opera House and The Coliseum is the natural place to showcase these portraits.
Walking into the gallery, the portraits loom larger than life, dominating the space and impressing upon the viewer the sheer physical presence of the dancers. These portraits focus on the character of the dancers themselves, rather than the balletic steps they’re capable of executing. It makes for a stripped back look at dancers as people, capturing them beyond the characters they inhabit while they are stage. There are no costumes, no tutus and frills nor glitter in sight, things which are so often associated with the ballet world and the dancers themselves. The dancers wear their own well worn practice clothes and no makeup, while their minimally clothed incredible bodies, scars exposed, are a testament to their lifetime of dedication and commitment to their art.
The sheer variety of great dancers present on the walls is overwhelming to walk amongst, including the greats such as Tamara Rojo, Edward Watson, Steven McRae, and up and coming stars such as Melissa Hamilton and Olivia Cowley. This exhibition is not one to miss for anyone who is passionate about ballet.
The stunning book that accompanies the exhibition, “What Lies Beneath”, is printed in a large format (300mm x 370mm) in extraordinary quality.
Rick Guest’s “What Lies Beneath” is at Hospital Club in London from 22-31 of January 2016 and will be open to members of the public. Don’t miss it!
The book “What Lies Beneath” can be purchased on Rick Guest’s website. Rick Guest’s other ballet portraits gathered in the book “The Language of the Soul” is also available for purchase.