In this, his second exhibition of dancers to be held at the Hospital Club Gallery, world renowned dance photographer Rick Guest with long-time collaborator Olivia Pomp, explore the supreme spirit and ensuing physicality that underpins a dancer’s art.

With this remarkable series of portraits he seeks to strip away the external layers of costume, role and performance to reveal the character of the dancers themselves. Once exposed, we see a life of dedication, resolve and sacrifice, reflected in their eyes and carved into their bodies.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The artist must be sacrified to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.

The dancers appear in what they wear for their daily ballet practice. These clothes perform various functions, from the necessary preservation of heat, to a small piece of self-expression in an otherwise uniform ensemble act. Some clothing becomes talismanic and is still worn, despite having all but fallen apart. These are all further insights into the mind of the dancer.

In a performing art that is meant to appear effortless, to communicate only the intention of the choreographer, the effort and sacrifice of the dancer is often hidden. Here they are revealed, allowing us to appreciate the essence of what it takes to be a dancer.


What Lies Beneath will be open to the public from today until the 31st January 2016.