Still Dance, an exhibition of the black and white photographic work of Nathaniel Tileston during the 1970s, is running at Lucky Rabbit & Co. in Annapolis Royal from Aug. 13 to 19.
Before the predominance of video, film and dance photography where the essential ways to record the agility and artistry of dance. Nathaniel Tileston’s stills are a visual feast of striking images of movement frozen in time. Studies of attitude and passion, his black and white photos bring out his subjects’ characteristic styles and capture the key moments of a pose or jump, creating visual poetry in light and shadows.
Raised in Chicago, Nat studied at Lawrence University, Wisconsin and later at the Art Institute in Chicago. In 1970 he moved to NYC to work with legendary dance and theatre photographer Martha Swope.
In 1976 he began photographing dance for the ‘Soho Weekly News’ where his images were seen with theatre and performance reviews by William Harris and Wendy Perron. His work was profiled in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM )1979 exhibition, ‘Inside Spaces’ – an exhibition of approximately 30 projects for defining space, by artists from various disciplines.
His photographs have also been featured internationally at various galleries and institutions including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC and the International Centre for the Arts in London, England.
In 1991 Nat partnered with American dance critic Marcia B. Siegel on The Tail of the Dragon. The book tracked the evolution of ‘new dance’ in New York throughout the key transitional period from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.
Nat remembers that time fondly. “During a rehearsal, a dancer friend said to me ‘You can’t count, can you?’ My answer: ‘I can’t count but I can see.’”
Nat is now based in Nova Scotia where, as part of his busy life, he is a member of Company of Angels, a dance group founded in 2013 by choreographer Randy Glynn. He continues to work in photography and spends half the year in Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam where, with his wife Susan he runs photo workshops for youth and displaced ethnic groups through My Story Photo Project.
Still Dance is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday this week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
- Story contributed by Sheila Duggan.