Book “Les Danseurs”

“Les Danseurs” by Matthew Brookes

Celebrated fashion photographer Matthew Brookes has turned his lens upon the professional male ballet dancers for his first book series titled “Les Danceurs”.
The series of portraits exalts in the lithe bodies of 20 members of the Paris Opera Ballet.

The self-taught photographer, born in England, raised in South Africa and now residing in Paris, has become known for his raw style of photography most appreciated by the Fashion Industry including French Vogue.

Anja Rubik photographed by Matthew Brookes for French Vogue
Anja Rubik photographed by Matthew Brookes for French Vogue

The series of portraits in the book Les Danceurs developed over one year removed the dancers from their endless training and rehearsals and placed them in studio.

The art direction for the series depicts the dancers responses upon being asked to interpret birds falling from the sky.  The dancers were placed in flocks, they took cues from each other moving in unison- toes point toward the heavens in one image, torso crumpled over a bent knee in another, the dancers are pictured with a plain canvas backdrop wearing black tights or shorts — leaving nothing to distract from their feats.

“Les Danseurs” by Matthew Brookes
“Les Danseurs” by Matthew Brookes  are members of the Paris Opera Ballet

The book recently premiered during Paris Couture Fashion Week at Colette, a concept store based in Paris described as more of a museum than a retail store.  The unique apparel and lifestyle retailer has an eye for original works, “We try to make people discover new things: great designers, creators, artists and amazing brands. The main objective is to show people all of this creativity and give them value.”

While it might seem impressive that Brookes, a newcomer to the book world, has grabbed the attentions of Colette among the throngs.  We think  it wasn’t a tough sell for Matthew Brookes who relied upon his extensive fashion network and the recent string of classical dance inspirations in fashion of marquee talents such as  Dries Van Noten and Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier both of whom have paraded runway collections exalting ballet.

The 68-page hardback, published by Damiani, is scheduled for release in September and can be pre-ordered online directly through Matthew Brookes.

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