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The Cornelian

Classical Ballet Meets Urban Streets

Daniella Gangi, Contributer

The 34-year-old photographer, Omar Z. Robles began photographing ballet dancers in urban environments roughly four years ago. Unlike brightly lit indoor studio portraits, Robles’ pictures are taken outside, often on gritty city streets. His photos often include the contrast of elegant dancers posing against a graffiti-filled wall. The contrast between the professional dancers to the civic backdrop brings a sense of calmness to the hectic cities. Robles’s pictures do not capture the chaos of the cities, rather they display the dancers at their finest. The pictures shed new light on the city’s surrounding architecture proving beauty can come from modern streets. Robles’s models vary in heights, sizes, and sexes, and they all come from different studios and theatres. He has shot men and women from the American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and even the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Robles’s style consists of “mime photography” as it allows him to “capture fleeting emotions and tell a story for a much longer time than theater could.” (Omar Robles) His signature style of this ballet imagery continues to gain momentum on social media and beyond. Omar, his photography, and the dancer’s grace and elegance will relentlessly mesmerize the public.

For more work from Robels, go to his website or his Instagram

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