Posts Tagged ‘2009’

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

The Tiffany 2009 Blue Book Collection is the defining symbol of luxury in the World of fine gems. Teardrop Diamond Drop Earrings are $40,000, a flower Jardinet Diamond Bracelet in 18K gold is $320,000, and a 6.19 carat brilliant diamond – flawless and colorless with a double border diamond setting – a mere $1,475,000!

The dinner that was thrown at the Tysons Corner location November 20th, in honor of the collection, was just as luxurious as the stones being offered.

© Tony Powell. Tiffany VP Diane Ray Brown, Michael and Susan Harreld

After cocktails and shopping in the store guests were ushered out into the large foyer for dinner which was transformed into a Winter scene: every inch of the ceiling covered in white balloons and streamers nearly reached the floor – simulating falling snow.

© Tony Powell. "Chef" Geoff Tracy and Norah O'Donnell

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

Catering was provided by Tiffany neighbor “Chef” Geoff Tracy who was accompanied by his wife, MSNBC correspondent, Norah O’Donnell. Other notables included Tiffany & Co. CEO Michael Kowalski, Michael and Susan Harreld, and Newt and Callista Gingrich.

© Tony Powell

The woman behind my involvement is Tiffany & Co. Vice President Diane Ray Brown, for whom I am greatly honored to have worked with now, twice.

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

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© Tony Powell. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer with Susanna and Jack Quinn

The most impressive and anticipated holiday gathering to date this season occurred last week on the entire roof level of the W Hotel.

© Tony Powell. Jack Quinn and New York Rep. Joe Crowley

© Tony Powell. Ed Henry and John Warner

When Susanna Quinn calls to say she’s having an event and wants it captured it MUST be important.

© Tony Powell. Susanna Quinn and Tommy McFly

© Tony Powell. Jocelyn and friend

Each party she throws seems to be better than the last and the Quinn Gillespie & Associates Holiday party she hosted was the best yet! (they got it to snow inside!)

© Tony Powell. Brit and Virginia Hume

© Tony Powell. Molissa Fenley

Mass Balance. Choreographed and danced by Molissa Fenley. photo © Tony Powell

September 15 and 17, 2009

Venue: Judson Church, 8pm
Location: 55 Washington Square South, New York City
Program: Ice, Dew, Food, Crew, Ape, music by Alvin Curran and poem, STEP, written and performed live by Bob Holman
Mass Balance, music by Cenk Ergun, prop by Todd Richmond
Cosmati Variations 1-4, music by John Cage

Performed by Kristina Berger, Molissa Fenley, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Katie McGreevy, Cassie Mey, Elisabetta Minutoli, Paz Tanjuaquio and Alyssa Lee Wilmot.

Ice, Dew, Food, Crew, Ape – the New York premiere of a work performed twice: once as set to a score by Alvin Curran and then again danced with STEP a poem written and performed live by Bob Holman.

Ice, Dew, Food, Crew, Ape. Choreography by Molissa Fenley. Photo by Tony Powell

Ice, Dew, Food, Crew, Ape. Choreography by Molissa Fenley. Photo by Tony Powell

This work was created while Fenley was in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, February 2009. Alvin Curran’s score was created by his recording the sounds of the Nantucket ship horn against the sound of John Cage’s voice reciting the five monosyllabic words of Curran’s title.

© Tony Powell. Bob Holman

Bob Holman, also in residence at the ACA, watched rehearsals of the work underway, taking notes of phrases said during the choreographic process, directions taken, relationships expressed, movement described. These notes were then translated into the poetic form that is Holman’s work.

Ice, Dew, Food, Crew, Ape. Choreography by Molissa Fenley. Photo by Tony Powell

Standing in the middle of the stage and surrounded by the dancers moving through the choreography, Holman is sometimes in close proximity to the dancers, sometimes encircled as the dancers continue through their spatial constructions.

Mass Balance – music by Cenk Ergun, prop by Todd Richmond (NY premiere).  A solo for Fenley, the work marks the beginning of a new investigation of dances made using a prop designed or suggested by a visual artist.

Mass Balance. Choreographed and danced by Molissa Fenley. photo © Tony Powell

Mass Balance. Choreographed and danced by Molissa Fenley. photo © Tony Powell

Fenley carries a 10-foot wooden dowel throughout the piece, experimenting with images of balance and weight. “Mass Balance” refers to the difference between the accumulation of snow and the ablation of ice of glaciers. Yearly measurements have shown a disequilibrium caused by global climate change.

Cosmati Variations are a series of works that Fenley choreographed while in residence at the American Academy in Rome, February-August, 2008.

Cosmati Variations. Choreography by Molissa Fenley. Photo by Tony Powell

Each variation is inspired by an aspect(s) of the 11th Century Cosmatesque mosaic pavements present in many of the basilicas and churches in Rome.

Cosmati Variations. Choreography by Molissa Fenley. Photo by Tony Powell

The inspirations are in terms of design: T-square and serpentine eyelets; in terms of measurement: movements or spatial travel that require three feet; in terms of ardor: demand of execution and in terms of form: triangles nested within squares.

© Tony Powell. Kristina Berger

© Tony Powell. Robert Swinston

Martha Hill circa 1922

With my Juilliard professors Laura Glenn (Limon technique) Janet Soares (Dance composition) and Danny Lewis (Limon technique)

© Tony Powell. Mary Hinkson

To say that a quarter of  The Cathedral NYC‘s ballroom last night was occupied by living legends of the dance world is not an over statement. Each year around 200 dancers, choreographers, and educators gather to celebrate the life of pioneer in-the-field, Martha Hill. I have the great honor of being the official photographer of the Martha Hill Dance Award Gala and look forward to it each year with great anticipation.

© Tony Powell. Martha Hill Dance Fund President Vernon Scott

© Tony Powell. Dancer Dian Dong and Choreographer HT Chen

© Tony Powell. Choreographer Robert Garland and Ailey II director Sylvia Waters

© Tony Powell. Choreographer, dancer, and teacher Mary Anthony

© Tony Powell. Hannah Baumgartner and Henning Rubsam

Martha Hill is credited with singlehandedly uniting the chiefs of modern dance, during it’s infancy, and also for laying the groundwork that enabled the discipline to be studied, as a major, in colleges all across the country.

© Tony Powell. Murray Louis and Beverly Blossom

Tony Powell. Choreographer/Dancers Murray Louis and Beverly Blossom

© Tony Powell. Awardees Beverly Blossom, Hortense Zera, Jacqueline Green, and Virginia Johnson

I was very fortunate to have been one of the last students hand-picked by Martha to attend The Juilliard School – where she presided over the dance program for over 30 years. Well into her eighties at the time, Martha Hill was an inspiration like none other, full of energy and insight, wisdom, and compassion.

© Tony Powell

Ten years ago an award was created to celebrate her life which recognizes 3 individuals each year in 3 different categories of the life arc of a dancer: The Young Professional, The Mid-Career, and The Lifetime Achievement Awards. This year’s event was presided over by choreographer and dancer Murray Louis with awards going to Jacqueline Green, Virginia Johnson, and Beverly Blossom respectively.

© Tony Powell. Dance critic Jennifer Dunning

© Tony Powell. Dance critic Jennifer Dunning

© Tony Powell. My Juilliard professors Jeanne Ruddy (Graham technique) and Linda Kent (Taylor technique)

© Tony Powell. Georgia Engel, Virginia Johnson, Elvi Moore

With my Juilliard classmates choreographer and dancer Rebecca Stenn on the left and author and dance educator Dr. Elizabeth McPherson (Beth just wrote the new book about Martha Hill)

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell. Ernesta Corvino


© Tony Powell. Jessalynn Medairy. 11.25.09

An unlikely set of circumstances led to my introduction to top-ranked pole dancer and Pole Pressure studio owner Jessalynn Medairy last week which culminated today in one of the most productive and meaningful photo shoots I’ve ever organized. Productive in that Jessalynn has a work ethic similar to mine and meaningful as it proved to be the right time, the right place, and the right person with which to attempt a fully bare-body outdoor shoot. I’m preparing new work for an exhibit, in the new year, of my large-scale photography, and some of these images are prime candidates for the show.

© Tony Powell. Jessalynn Medairy. 11.25.09

We almost didn’t meet. After a long night of shooting for Tiffany & Co. in Tyson’s Corner last Saturday, I remembered that my friend Lani Hay had invited me to Jayne Sandman‘s 30th birthday party at the The Rookery. I really wanted to celebrate with Jayne and also to hear (Lani’s husband) Mark T. Smith, Jay Scott, and (Jayne’s husband) Jeff Dufour‘s rock band, which headlined the B-day bash – but my body was asking to get some sleep. I’m glad that better thinking prevailed.

© Tony Powell. Jessalynn Medairy. 11.25.09

When I arrived, the band was already in high gear and the place was a sea of familiar faces and friends: Holidae Hayes, Winston Lord, Amanda and Curtis Polk, Susanna Quinn, Cindy and Evan Jones, Lindsay Czarniak, Jessica Gibson, Patrick Gavin, Lee Brenner, and Alexe Nowakowski.

I spied an attractive blonde woman hanging out with Sharon Yang and something about her seemed special…but I didn’t know what. I later discover that she was none other than Sharon’s pole dance teacher, Jessalynn Medairy, among the top 12 pole dancers in the US for 2009 and in the top 15 for 2010.

© Tony Powell. Jessalynn Medairy. 11.25.09

The woman has NO inhibitions – and that distinction shone through, lending the resulting images we created an immediacy that only authenticity can provide. She IS her art and, at least for the 4 hours we were together, we breathed as one. I can’t remember a time when I was more in sync with the person in front of my lens than with Jessalynn. Shooting started early in the afternoon – indoors at the Carriage House Studio, home of the DC Photographers Coop – near 9th and O Sts. The 9.5 foot tension-based pole she brought with her was securely erected within minutes – snugly fitting between floor and ceiling, providing the necessary support for the myriad moves she executed over and over again.

As luck would have it the rain stopped as soon as we finished in the studio so we headed over to Rock Creek Park to a secluded area near The Nature Center. We were able to get in a hundred shots of what I really wanted to shoot: the bare form in space, outdoors, in nature. We erected her portable stage and 10 foot pole right there in the middle of the woods. My strobes were being powered outside by one of two sine wave inverters that I own, which gives me roughly 300-400 full power bursts of light with as many lights as needed, attached. The only disadvantage of working with an inverter is not being able to use the modeling light on a strobe head for any length of time, as the battery will deplete quickly or worse yet, the inverter can become damaged.

© Tony Powell. Jessalynn Medairy. 11.25.09

An additional sign of support from the Universe came in the form of the Sun – it showed it’s face the second I was set up and ready to take my first shot. That bit of Sun changed everything for the better so the portable lighting was repositioned to allow the Sun to be my rim light. We’ve planned our second shoot together once she returns from an International pole dance tour of England and France.

She’s heading to Europe today for a week of competitions, teaching, and workshops. A dancer, choreographer, and teacher of dance myself, I found the newness of her very specific movement style intriguing, forever expanding my limited conception of movement and portraiture.

© Tony Powell. Juelles Chester. 11.23.09

You never know who you’ll meet or where it might lead when staying open to all possibilities! Choreographer and dancer Kate Jordan invited me to the most recent open house at the Carriage House Studio, just before Halloween. The loosely knit group of photographers (pros and hobbyists) that comprise the DC Photographers Co-Op come together there once a month to share ideas and also to work with a variety of models, in the studio, and throughout the adjacent alleyways in the historic Logan Circle corridor of DC.

© Tony Powell. Juelles Chester. 11.23.09

© Tony Powell. Erica Dudley a.k.a. Model Keka. 11.23.09

The models that night a few weeks ago were dancers on loan from Kate’s dance company – they also rehearse there as part of an exchange. The stylist was a newbie seamstress and Booshie Design founder, Ginger Carlin – she only started sewing a year ago. What I first noticed about her was an overabundance of energy – she bounced around from model to model adjusting clothing (all her designs), applying makeup, and touching up tresses of hair, here and there. A veritable one stop shop for models, she seemed like an ideal partner for a photo shoot.

© Tony Powell. Vanja Simovic.11.23.09

© Tony Powell. Juelles Chester. 11.23.09

We hit it off right away. A casting call went out and we had 3 great new faces with which to work – Vanja Simovic, Juelles Chester, and Erica Dudley a.k.a. Model Keka. Makeup artist Carl Ray, Hairstylist Shannon Greene, and my photo assistant Kevin Smoot, rounded out the team.

© Tony Powell. Erica Dudley a.k.a. Model Keka. 11.23.09

Fast forward to the day before yesterday! Our grand plan for an all-day shoot at the Carousel, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo Park came to a screeching halt when Mother Nature showed us her plans for the course of the day! The steady downpour of rain forced us inside and thanks to Ginger we were able to get the Carriage House studio on short notice. After a long day of shooting and some homemade chicken and steak fajitas back at Ginger’s Q Street crash pad we were ready for round 2! But where? Still raining, Ginger, model Juelles, and I drove all over NW DC looking for a quirky indoor location. A gas station? Safeway? The nightclub Heaven and Hell? Tryst? At midnight I finally decided to try the lobby of the Donovan House on Thomas Circle. After a series of emails and phone calls to the director of PR and Marketing, we got the green light. The PR director remembered my name from the summer when I would come up to shoot parties on the roof by the pool each week.

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© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell

© Tony Powell