Project

Swans Inside-out: Behind the Scenes of the African Ballet in a Project by Lar Rattray

Cape Town photographer Lar Rattray shoot how artists prepare for ballet performances.


Lar Rattray

Photographer from South Africa. Born and raised on a cane farm. Studied photography at the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town. Published in Elle SA, Elle Decoration SA, Real Estate, WANTED, Conde Nast House & Garden, House and Leisure, Sunday Times and in other publications.

I shot this project a year ago. I had just finished art school when my friend, who was dancing at the Cape Town city ballet, invited me backstage. I was always intrigued by what goes on behind the scenes, so I grabbed my camera and went backstage another three or four times. I had a great experience and a charge of inspiration by taking in what I saw there.

The dancers were very friendly and always greeted me with enthusiasm. At the same time, they gave me space for creativity and allowed me to be invisible. They didn’t bother me and I didn’t bother them.

With this series, I wanted to show viewers things that they’ll probably never see. After all, there is a completely different world backstage, which in some ways is even more beautiful than the one you see on stage.

These photos will always touch me profoundly. When you haven’t seen the sweat and tears backstage, you will not be able to fully understand and appreciate the hard work that artists put into their performances in the world of ballet and art, in general.



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