Randall Milstein’s dramatic photographs of dancers started as an inside job—while performing in “The Nutcracker” he used his camera as well as his body.
That was in 2000. Since then, he said, “My photography has evolved into a non-traditional vision of dance and dancers meant to express the intense energy and emotion of dance, as well as the passion, strength, and trust of dancers.”
Dozens of Milstein’s striking black and white photographs are on display at the Center through March, including soloists and principle dancers from Oregon Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, BodyVox, Eugene Ballet Company, Northwest Dance Project and others.
“I photograph dancers for the same reason I dance—it makes me happy,” said Milstein, an OSU instructor in environmental science, and botany and plant pathology.
Taken during live performances rather than rehearsals, the photographs convey a monumental effect, showing figures—mostly in pairs or groups—that are both graceful and powerfully dynamic, Milstein’s photographs have appeared in numerous periodicals, books, posters, and advertisements, and are included in government, corporate, and private collections. In 2010, his work was exhibited at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts in “Photography and Painting Inspired by Dancers of the Oregon Ballet Theatre.” In 2011, he won the Vice President’s Choice Award for a piece in the OSU Faculty and Staff Exhibition at Giustina Gallery.
The exhibit is free and open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.