Of all the art forms dance is arguably the most challenging to capture. Musicians tend to remain for the most part behind their instruments, actors have their parts to play, with gestures, text and movement somewhat fixed by the script, but dance is fast paced action with broad movements where the photographer has only his or her intuition and experience to directly operate the camera, to capture the culmination of a gesture or the meaning of a sequence. Lighting tends to be difficult, with sparse sets, black stages and variably illuminated quickly moving figures. The photographer typically has only one final dress rehearsal to create the photos that will be used to represent the entire piece for the purpose of advertising and documentation for the company. David repeatedly displays a sixth sense, an emotional understanding for the works he has photographed. For him, it is not enough to make the correct exposure and the proper documentary photo. His photos depict the pathos – the emotional qualities the choreographer intended to communicate to the audience through the unfolding work.
Along with independent dance companies, (among others, Dock 11, LaborGras, Tangomaxx), as well as their public relations partners (i.e. K3) David has maintained over the last 7 years a fruitful relationship with TanzhausBerlinMitte and the driving force behind it, choreographer Hanne Franziska Bender. The latest project, City Dschungel is an ad hoc conglomeration of dancers from the various dance groups from TanzhausBerlinMitte including the Tanztheater Piccolos, Tanztheater Citronellas and others.
These “dance attacks” choreographed “on the fly” by Hanne Franziska Bender are fast paced explosions of creative dance that explore in real time the cityscapes of Berlin, its bridges, its back courts, inner centrum streets and the sidewalks. “There is nothing in this world quite like keeping ahead of a wave of the unfolding, billowing exuberance of a large group of running and dancing children” The performances are not at all like busking or for that matter like dancing on stage. The dancers do not appear to be interested in attracting an audience but instead tear through the city, not really stopping, only using a location as long as it provides inspiration for dance. They would rather displace their audiences by filling already full sidewalks, inner court yards and stairways with their creative improvised movements than dance for them. There is just a whirling torrent taking over occupied space.
Future plans include the publishing of a book documenting these exuberant and creative young people and this kind of spontaneous improvised dance.