Christiáne Terriel De Lara, Ph.D.

DANCE Exhibition Interview

"I don't think much I do." Terriel asserts about what goes into photographing theatre and dance. "lt's largely instinct and an ability to tune in to what is happening. You develop a way of absorbing yourself into the action so that you follow it intuitively."

Terriel is building a reputation as one of the premier photographers of the performing arts. A former Arts and Entertainment Attorney, Terriel holds Ph.D.'s in ART, Cinéma, and Classical Archaeology. Today she leads a hectic life running from ballet rehearsals to modern dance performances, to opera openings, working with theatrical producers, dance publications, and national magazines.

Terriel has great respect for the dancers she photographs,"they're a special breed," she says, "very hard-working, dedicated people." She sees her role as being the historian, the preserver of their art. "It is important to remember the moments of history in dance because they belong to the public."

Each type of production Terriel covers — classical ballet, theater, modern dance — demands a unique photographic approach, which means that Terriel herself must know a great deal about the state of the arts. "The more you know about dance itself or theater itself, the more you can contribute as a photographer." she says. Plays and musicals demand that you create an illusion that should be upheld if you are going to capture the magic. Modern dance can be photographed at many different points because of the fluidity, but ballet has certain peak moments that are the only ones you should capture. "There is a form to ballet you must not betray. It is a disservice to photograph it incorrectly."

"Photographing dance is like photographing moving sculpture. Dancers have such a repertoire of things they can do in front of the camera. I love the experience of trying to capture the rhythm of the individual dancers. Most dancers bring an open-mindedness and a willingness to be creative in front of a camera," she says. "They're eager to do their art and help me do mine."

Terriel dedicates this exhibition to all performing artists for their extraordinary talents, grace, and outstanding commitment to their art.

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