World of Dances is a life long project created by National Geographic Creative photographer Kike Calvo. We are used to thinking of ballet as an indoor display of beauty and masterful technique. Kike takes dancers to iconic, architectonically unique, culturally emblematic, rapidly vanishing landmarks or simply unexpected locations.
Like in life, simple is normally best when it comes to photographing a project like this. Reducing a composition to its essence is not an easy task, but one that challenges me constantly. Being able to give the viewer a minimalist perspective, when my subjects merge with their surrounding in an almost magical way, is one of my primary goals. As in ballet, photography sometimes is all about purity, precision, discipline and beauty.
But that is not to say that ballet is limited to imagery of a fairytale princess weightlessly flying over the theater stage. Kike puts a strong effort on each photo taken for this project to show the subtleties of the dancers character. Beyond the skillful dancer, he photographs the person who has put in hard work, who daydreams about what the future might bring professionally, whose eye expressions show the delicacy of ballet.
The initial photographic project focused on ballet has now expanded to include folk dances from around the world, with a special emphasis in the Latin American region. Please check The Güepajé Project for further information.
It is important to remember that my job as a photographer is the last of a chain of energy, efforts, planning and acts of kindness, that makes World of Dances and The Güepajé Project, a timeless ethereal yet ever lasting collection of life moments.
Photographs from “World of Dances” has been exhibited at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art Midland Center for the Arts, and the Museum of Modern Art in Panama. In 2012-13, Kike was part of a multidisciplinary team at Yale University, that received a Grant by The Arts Council of Greater New Haven for the project¨Discovering the Higgs Particle through Physics, Dance and Photography.¨ The work has been published worldwide, including the National Geographic books “Stunning Photographs“. In 2018, Kike’s work was showcased in “Genius”, a National Geographic book, for his forefront work with drone technology, dance and conservation.
Kike works with companies, schools and individual dancers from all over the world. If you are interested in joining the project, please email email@example.com