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dance France Nathan Benkemoun performing arts

HEAVENLY BALLET

NATHAN BENKEMOUN

// Nathan was born in Nice and is now based in Paris. As a photographer he is mainly attracted to showing daily life and people´s interaction with their environment through intimate, sometimes absurd or even banal scenes, taken in the street or in open spaces. For this series though, he went up high: he followed a ballet dancer around the roof of the Opera Garnier in Paris.

In his work Nathan also tries to show some common human feelings and sensations, such as loneliness, the transience of time, or a sense of belonging. Some of his series were taken in Russia during a long journey from Moscow to Vladivostok. Nothing is really calculated and decided in advance: He leaves room for chance without ever forcing the subjects (characters, light, and objects) in his photos.


“Paris est une fête (PARIS IS A FEAST).”

Book title by Ernest Hemingway


What draws you to the arts?

“I am a civil engineer so what drew me to art was what we called in french “ouvrages d’art” such as bridges or anything in concrete. Saying that, what really drew me to art is Roma and the former temples for example, and the associated mythology.”

What impresses you most about your rooftop dance series?

“I like the movement and the atmosphere.”

For this series, taken in the summer of 2018, Nathan had the chance to follow Sarah Kora Dayanova, a ballet dancer from the Opéra de Paris. She had access to the rooftop of the Opéra, and the two spent several days up there shooting a series. Nathan photographed her while she was wandering around and dancing on top of the opera. “Between the sky and the earth, the clouds and the surrounding noise of Paris, she wandered like a celestial object between the golden statues and the black horses on a stormy Sunday afternoon on the rooftop of Opéra de Paris,” he reminisces.


Click on the photos to see a larger image.

All photos © NATHAN BENKEMOUN

Visit Nathan´s Instagram gallery for more amazing photos.

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