- Tom- Tom
Before Ben and I came to Fire Island, Ben had seen some pictures of Todd Allen dancing and sent him a note to tell him we’d be here for August. We found, to our good fortune that he would be here the same time we were. Todd is an accomplished dancer who has danced professionally with some of the best most innovative modern dance companies in the world. He’s danced in the Pines for the Fire Island Dance Festival – an annual event that draws a large audience that supports AIDS charities (see more – DRA). I was honored to have his grace.
I love working with dancers. I never try to direct them. I merely say, “This is your stage. Give us a show.” As fate would have it, our stage became an increasingly dramatic place as a storm moved in that eventually would engulf us in hail. I’d had to put the cameras away when that happened. But before the sky closed in and poured on us – I witnessed this wonderfully talented man dance to darkening sky in harmony with the natural drama of this gorgeous moment.
We started with Todd in a black speedo so we’d have something chaste to post on those sex-phobic social network sites that refuse to honor the beauty of a naked body.
We then did a series in a posing strap, recalling an earlier era and dance costuming cut to the absolute minimum.
It was here that we saw the clouds darkening as the next stage of the drama began.
The elements invited the dance to be performed naked. Todd danced in a primal state – a man in rapture with the energy of the wind, water and funneling clouds. He was defiant and submissive – allowing himself to be off balance in thrilling spins and leaps. On the spot, he choreographed a spontaneous duet between himself and the storm.
You will see a more comprehensive look at Todd’s dance in the future at my site in the BIANCHI MEN section. This shoot – one very happy accident – produced a wealth of gorgeous images. I can only say thank you to Todd – and the force that was with us. My mantra once again proved potent – let magic happen.