Ever wonder what the iconic performers of the New York City Ballet does beyond the scenes? Aside from the usual graceful movements, tedious preparations, there is above all a glimpse at the real portraits of the young men and women who makes the arduous path to the world’s best ballet house. Kyle Froman, a former member of the NYCB spent some time photographing what goes beyond the curtains and compiled them in his photography book In the Wings: Behind the Scenes of the New York City Ballet. “There’s a different kind of beauty that’s revealed when you take a dancer off a stage,” he tells Vanity Fair.
Blazing a colorful career as part of the New York City Ballet and into a successful transformation as a dance photographer, Froman visually convinces viewers that he is indeed a master in documenting the world of dance. Froman started his journey to the graceful universe of ballet at a very young age. “My brother and I started coming up to the School of American Ballet (SAB) for the summers when we were fifteen. Those five week intensives were beyond thrilling. Not only were we in New York City by ourselves, but we were spending the days dancing, taking technique, partnering, variations, and character dance classes,” he tells Broadway World.
“By the time we were eighteen we had graduated a year early from high school, been professional company members with the Fort Worth Ballet, and were finally moving up to study at the school full-time. We were awarded the first Rudolf Nureyev scholarships, which allowed us to study at SAB free of charge. It was a gamble leaving Fort Worth Ballet, but joining the New York City Ballet was our goal, and the scholarship wasn’t something we could pass up. We crossed our fingers and returned to being students at SAB. Six months later we got into the New York City Ballet.” Froman adds
Developing a keen eye in observing his colleagues on the dance floor, it didn’t take long before Froman started taking photographs of what goes beyond ballet’s biggest stage and capturing all the emotions that envelopes young dancers day in and day out. “I knew where to point my lens to catch the human side of a dancer’s life, but I also understood choreography and the energy of a performance,”
“I first became interested in photography during the Nutcracker season of 2005. I can only explain it as I started seeing pictures. I’d catch glimpses during barre and throughout my day and night. Thus, my second career began,” recalls Froman. Indeed, a second career that is now catching attention within both the dance and photography world. Along with Froman’s book, his works are also part of the new photo exhibit at Jacob’s Pillow, “Kyle Froman: Bodies/Buildings”, a series that explores the universe housing the art of dance, the struggles and fulfillment of ballet, its chaotic order and duplication graceful movement, all showcasing Froman’s photography that blends ballet movements with New York City’s architecture.