From the 2003 exhibition press release, Dance Lines: Photographs by Stuart Allen. Courtesy Crocker Art Museum.
Dance Lines is a series of black and white photographs made on-site in the Grand Ballroom of Sacramento, California’s Crocker Art Museum. Building on the artist’s previous investigations of time-based motion, Night Lines (1997 – 1998) and Studio Lines (2000 – 2001), Dance Lines documents the intricate movement of dancers as they perform before the camera.
Using a distinctly photographic device – the light trail produced by a moving light during a long exposure – the artist has recorded maps or diagrams of various dance forms on film. Though not a dancer himself, Allen has worked with specialists in a variety of disciplines, from ballet to swing, to determine the most effective sequence of moves for each image.