a Photographic Exploration of Dance in St Pete
Capturing Dance is a project that seeks to identify the diverse dance community in St. Petersburg, and capture their work in photographs.
Dancer and choreographer Helen Hansen French paired photographers Tom Kramer and Charlotte Suarez with dancers and locations throughout St. Petersburg, to showcase the natural beauty of our city and shine a spotlight on dance artists who live, work and create in St. Pete.
This project was funded by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance through an Individual Artist Grant in 2017.
New photographs will be released regularly.
Check back for a look at more St. Pete dance ensembles.
About our Curator
Helen Hansen French, a native of St. Petersburg, received her BFA from The Juilliard School.
Upon graduation she was invited to join Buglisi Dance Theatre, where is she rose to principal dancer and served as rehearsal director. In addition to BDT’s annual New York City seasons she has toured nationally and internationally performing in such venues as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Chautauqua Dance Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, Rishon LeZion International Festival in Israel and the Oriente Occidente Festival in Rovereto, Italy.
Mrs. French has been instrumental in staging BDT’s works at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pieve International School in Italy, North Carolina Dance Theater and colleges and universities throughout the United States.
As a choreographer and movement maker, Mrs. French focuses on collaborations and exploring the relationship between dance and other artforms. In support of these endeavors she has been awarded a 2015, 2016 and 2017 Individual Artist Grant from the City of St. Petersburg and she was also a 2016 Creative Pinellas Artist Fellow.
Helen is deeply committed to arts education and developing the next generation of artists as well as contributing to the community in which she lives. She is a founding member of the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance, co-producer of Beacon: a performance series for St. Pete, and Interim Executive Director for Rogue Dance.
In addition to teaching dance to all ages Mrs. French is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher. She has served on the dance faculties at George Mason University, The Juilliard School, Flint Hill School (VA), the Neighborhood Playhouse (NYC), John Hopkins Middle School and St. Petersburg College.
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About our Photographers
Dance, film, and theater photographer, Tom Kramer, is known for photographs that are “dramatic, technically sharp, incisive and capable of capturing the very essence of a performer.”
As a still photographer in the film and television industries, Tom worked for CBS, Lorimar, Universal Studios and numerous independent producers. His photographs have been widely published in newspapers, magazines, trade journals, posters and on record and CD covers.
His dance photographs are in the permanent collection of The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and the Leepa Rattner Museum. His photographs have been used extensively by the National Dance Association and are featured in and on the covers of many books on dance. A portfolio of his dance photographs is currently on display at Leslie Curran ARTicles Gallery in St. Petersburg.
Now living in St. Petersburg, Tom continues his dance and theater photography. Recent images include Moving Current Dance Co, Beacon, USF Dance, St Petersburg Opera, HCC MainStage Theatre, freeFall Theatre, Creative Clay, Palladium Theatre and Caravan Stage.
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Charlotte Suarez is a Florida native and grew up in the small East Coast town of Ft. Pierce. She’s a fourth-generation Floridian who has always appreciated the many different kinds of beauty that exist in this state.
Charlotte graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in American and Florida Studies and a minor in Anthropology. Photography became a bigger part of her life with the birth of her first son, when she began to take her art more seriously.
Charlotte has been creating professional portraits of people, places and things since 2012. She lives in St. Petersburg with her husband, two sons and Jack Russell Terrier.
For more on Charlotte’s work, visit charlottenacolephotogr