PORTRAITS OF DANCERS
Over a one month period from June-July, 2017, Nickol photographed over 90 female dancers, ranging in age from 15-37. She was originally commissioned by Alexandra Wells to document the annual summer dance program Springboard Danse Montreal, and then continued the portrait series in New York City upon her return from Montreal at the Movement Invention Project.
Nickol’s goal was to create a series of personal portraits of the young female dancers, photographed against a dark neutral background found in the perspective dance locations in which she set up her makeshift studio. She used only available natural light found in the spaces she photographed in, so the light quality changes depending on the location and day. What remains constant is her connection with the young dancers and the composition of the images.
Whether pulled back to show the dancer’s bodies and form or close up to relay the mood and character, the series explores the individuality of women of varying ages. The variations in light quality bring to mind portrait painters from different eras, from the Dutch school of the 1600s to modern artists of the 20th Century.