11 Fearless Dancers Strip Down On NYC Rooftops, And The Result Will Make Your Heart Beat Faster
Inspired by his background, photographer Omar Z. Robles has been capturing the graceful and subtle movements of ballet dancers for over 4 years now. From Melbourne to Rio De Janeiro, Omar lets the dancers bodies tell their own stories, often juxtaposing their elegant beauty with gritty urban environments. “Before being a photographer I studied and performed professionally as a Mime,” he told Bored Panda. “I found in photography a similar way of creating stories using only the visual language.”
His latest series, Bare Sky Dance, takes place on the rooftops of New York City, with the dancers showing a more vulnerable side by stripping off and posing nude. “The naked body speaks volumes to our fragile yet mystical and graceful existence,” Omar said. “We are born naked and it was a naked act (in most cases) that brought life to each and everyone of us.”
“I normally photograph dancers in the streets, but I thought the rooftops would be an interesting twist whilst providing some privacy at the moment of photographing.”
As well as the stunning images that his series has produced, Omar delves into the background stories of the dancers themselves, bringing their stories to life and providing an interesting context to the photoshoot. “Because of the nature of this series and the current social climate, I wanted the dancers to become the voice of the images,” Omar told us.
One dancer, Alexandra Jacob, shared her very personal motivation to be a part of the series. “I chose to participate to de-stigmatize the notion that nudity has to always be associated with sexuality in a visual setting, as well as to reclaim my personal right of consent after a silencing of my history with sexual assault,” she wrote. “This project was incredibly liberating in a sense that like being on stage, I was able to shed my outer layers and uncover the freedom of self-worth.”
Another participant, Terk Lewis, aimed to encourage people to embrace their differences and not feel hindered by a perceived ‘ideal image’ that the dance world may have promoted in the past. “What appealed to me about posing for this series is the fact that I have a very different type of body,” he said. “I don’t necessary look like most dancers, I have tattoos and I am taller than your average male dancer. I want to empower individuals that can relate to me and my image by doing things in the dance world that just a couple of years ago people who looked like me weren’t able to do. I believe there’s inspiration there to be given.”
Omar’s Bare Sky Dance allows his subjects to not only to bare their bodies to the world, but gives them a voice that goes beyond the visual, and gives us a perspective on the highs and lows that come with being a professional dancer. Scroll down below to check out the series for yourself, and visit his blog to learn more about Omar’s work.