Life in Stills: inFORMants

Most of us strive to achieve perfection in one or more aspects of our lives. Each of our lives is comprised of struggles, goals that we have for ourselves, and achievements that we have accomplished. We aspire for perfection in our own unique way, but there is one common characteristic that we all share: confidence. The confidence to show the world that we are able, the confidence to let go of our insecurities, and the confidence to take that step which may take us off the side of a cliff. It is the same if you are a commerce undergraduate or a highly acclaimed dancer.

I had the pleasure of going to the Berenson Fine Art Gallery and experiencing Aleksandar Antonijevic’s photography exhibit inFORMants—one of the exhibits of the 2013 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. Antonijevic is a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. A world-renowned dancer, he is also an incredible photographer. His pieces for inFORMants showcased dancers of the National Ballet dance company. Antonijevic, through his creativity, captured the movements of the dancers, each expressing their own strive for perfection through their strength in their own confidence.

Aleksandar Antonijevic

The exhibit, fittingly named “inFORMants” is a feat no other photographer would have been able to achieve in the same way. As a dancer of the company, Antonijevic has a unique relationship and connection with the dancers on the other side of his camera lens. Through years of established trust, they exposed themselves, allowing him to capture their nakedness and to share it with the world. This type of trust from the dancers-the exclusive trust in the photographer that allowed them to be exposed to the outside world-was truly moving for me. The more I looked at the photographs, the more I began to see the dancers’ confidence in their nakedness. I was overly privileged to be presented with a rare glimpse into the world of dance.

My favourite piece of the exhibit was one where the dancer seemed to be laying himself down, but a closer look showed that he was actually falling. What captured me was that his expression was not startled and did not show fear; nor did disappointment show. Instead, his expression was calm, yet strong. The photograph moved me in a way that made me think about the restraints that I have placed on my own personal progression in my aspirations. The dancer did not flinch nor did he hesitate; he took his fall with grace. It made me see that with every step we take, there is a factor of risk involved. It is what we do when we fall that molds us into the confident person able to achieve perfection in our lives. This piece taught me to approach every day with confidence; when we fall with confidence, we gain the confidence to achieve.

Thank you to Ms. Emilia Ianeva for sharing this wonderful exhibit with me. I am looking forward to more inspirational exhibits such as Antonijevec’s inFORMants. Please follow the gallery on Twitter @berensonart and Aleksandar Antonijevic @asquaredphoto.