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From Baryshnikov to Mark Morris to Alvin Ailey – Nan Melville's 'Dance Unframed' Exhibition Captures Fleeting Moments in Time

by Jitin Hingorani
February 10, 2011
JMC Custom Framing and Art Gallery
674 Ninth Avenue, 2nd floor
(between 46th and 47th Streets)
New York, NY 10036
(212) 977-8877
(New York, NY – February 7, 2011) Dance photojournalist Nan Melville, a freelance photographer for several arts institutions including The Julliard School, Carnegie Hall, and The New York Times, specializes in photographing the performing arts, primarily dance. Her latest exhibition of work is more than two decades in the making: from Polaroid-based emulsion transfers on canvas of Mikhail Baryshnikov mid-leap to the iconic image of Angel Corella lifting Diana Vishneva in the ballet, Giselle, which made the front page of The New York Times, to various images that capture the soul of dancer Bijayini Satpathy of Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, shot in India. Curated by Dorothy Krakauer, Melville's solo show, Dance Unframed, is on display during the month of February at the JMC Custom Framing and Art Gallery (674 Ninth Avenue, between 46th and 47th Streets, 2nd floor). The opening night reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 10, 2011 (Media RSVP Required).

The Dance Unframed exhibition – so called because Melville wants no framing to distract from the images portrayed – is inspired by fleeting moments during a dance performance. "The imagery in this show is the time when light, bodies, textures all combine and are realized in the magic of performance that I love to capture," says Melville. "I have seen few exhibits in the general art world that concentrate only on dance," says Krakauer. "Nan has an exquisite eye and talent with her camera for capturing that moment in which the dancer leaves the earth and transcends into a higher state.  Each photograph tells a story in itself, yet is part of the greater story of the dance.  Nan has been fortunate to photograph many of the greatest dancers in the world, and they are fortunate she has been there to capture their moments of perfection to preserve for the world."
Some of the artists whose "fleeting moments" are on display in Dance Unframed include: Vladimir Malakhov, Bijayini Satpathy (Nrityagram Dance Ensemble), Darcey Bussell (Royal Ballet), Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alicia Alonso, Carlos Acosta, Dance Brazil, Jonathon Campbell (The Julliard School), Jody Sperling, Ballet Nacional De Cuba, Linda Celeste Sims (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Dwana Adiaha Smallwood (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Diana Vishneva/Angel Corella (American Ballet Theatre), Mark Morris Dance Group, and Nikolais Louis Foundation for Dance.
About Nan Melville: Nan Melville is an accomplished photographer and videographer. She has been based in New York City since she left South Africa in 1986. There are very few internationally-known dance photographers, and Nan is one of them. Her clients include such illustrious institutions as The New York Times, The Julliard School, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. She has won various photographic awards, including 1st Prize in the Flying Springbok International Travel Photographic Competition (Nikon, Nissan, and SA Airways). Nan has been assigned to photograph international figures and performers, and she often travels abroad on photo assignments. Her photographs are syndicated worldwide and have appeared in many overseas publications, including books, magazines, and newspapers. As more of her clients began requesting video work, Nan expanded her expertise into videography. She is much in demand to film performances as she has the ability to capture an event in both still and video. Her video experience led to an interest in documentary filmmaking. She collaborated on filming a documentary on the Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company, and her short documentary Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance premiered at the DFA 2010 Dance on Film Festival in New York. She is now working on expanding the documentary to feature length. For more information about Nan or to see examples of her work, please log on to www.nanmelville.com.
About Dorothy Krakauer: Dorothy Krakauer was born on the Indian Nations Reservations at Columbia Falls, Montana. She studied oil painting in Tokyo, Japan, with Shunjiro Nakamura, a Japanese Living National Treasure.  Dorothy received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and studied drawing and painting from the live model at Massachusetts College of Art.  She works in oils, watercolors, pencils, and pastels, as well as photography.  While living in Izmir, Turkey, during the years 1973-1975, Dorothy created an original oil painting of Saint Francis of Assisi in the then 101-year-old Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.  Her painting of Saint Francis is registered as a National Art Treasure of Turkey.  She was responsible for the renovation of the sanctuary in the Cathedral and also repaired and restored frescoes in the seventeenth century Church of Saint Polycarp in Izmir.  She did the photography for books on Turkish embroidery and the old gates of Bornova, near Izmir.  Dorothy has exhibited her artwork in Japan, Turkey, Europe, Colombia, and the United States, including numerous group exhibits and solo exhibits in the greater Metropolitan Boston area, Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria, and New York City. She received Second Place in the Angel Orensanz Foundation Fourth International Artists Award held in New York City, Paris, and Venice in 2004.  Her artwork hangs in private collections throughout the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Turkey, South, and Central America.  Dorothy is a co-founder of Fountain Gallery, New York City, where she curated exhibits since 2000 including the Annual Celebration of Life Benefit.  She has curated exhibits for Art for Healing Gallery NYC, other exhibits in Turkey and the United States, and is currently the curator for JMC Framing and Art Gallery in New York.  She is the recipient of the NATO Award for Women for her work among the member nations in Turkey; the Christian Award for Leadership in Turkey; twice honored by Emperor Hirohito for her work in international relations in Japan; and an Honoree of the International Women Artists Salon in New York City. 

Media Contact: JINGO Media
Jitin Hingorani, (512) 773-6679
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble by Nan Melville An image from Nan Melville's photo exhibition

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble by Nan Melville
An image from Nan Melville's photo exhibition

Photo © & courtesy of Nan Melville

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