Brooklyn and Boston-based multi-media artist Jesús Chapa-Malacara is a creative director and former contemporary ballet dancer. A student of art his whole life, he studied photography under David Hilliard and Todd Papageorge as an undergraduate at Yale, where he earned a BA in Political Science.
"In art my passion lies in storytelling and exploring "the how," be it physically, conceptually or politically. I strive for photography that is intentional and thoughtful, that explores technical aspects—light, composition, post-production—as much as it examines the particularities of its subjects.
The photographs capture both the movement and line of professional ballet dancers, via an in-camera (not Photoshop) technique I’ve developed. A former dancer myself, as dancers, we spend a lot of time thinking about all the movement in between the poses, sometimes even more than we think about the poses themselves. I set out to tell that story. The resulting photographs make for a rare and breathtaking combination that illustrates how dancers move through space. My aim is to document the entire language of ballet over the long term. Each photograph captures one movement within the ballet lexicon from beginning to end; each is an encapsulated, full “portrait” of one of ballet’s specific, codified movements, every little detail dancers work years perfecting.”