Photographer Captures an Intimate Look Inside the Bedrooms of Ballerinas

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“Typically I come home, shower, eat dinner, and then get into bed and watch some of my favorite shows ― ‘Family Guy’ or ‘Adventure Time.’ And then go to sleep, just to be able to wake up for the next day.” Skylar Brandt, Soloist at American Ballet Theater.

Bedrooms are sanctuaries, oases of calm and relaxation. Photographer Damon Dahlen teamed up with Huffington Post to spend six months touring the bedrooms of NYC's ballerinas. The result is a surprising series of photographs and interviews that reveals the dancers' inner sanctuaries.

The ballerinas range from members of the American Ballet Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem to dancers in lesser-known companies. And while these talented performers can often seem untouchable, Dahlen's series gives a glimpse of their lives away from the stage. By opening up their most intimate space, the women are given the chance to reflect on how they are able to unwind from the pressures of performance.

This international group, with ballerinas from Russia, Brazil, America, and Singapore, shows a wide range of styles in their interiors. From European opulence to clean and functional, there's a surprise behind every doorway. For the full range of dancers and interviews, see HuffPost Arts&Culture.

ballerina bedroom zhongjing fang damon dahlen huffington post

“I usually get back home and I like to make some food for myself. I either cook some pasta or salad. I like eating Chinese food, too, because I’m from China. After eating, I will watch some movies on Netflix. That’s what I like to do—it helps me. I also like to take a bath in my bathtub. That’s pretty much it. Just rest.” Zhongjing Fang, Corps de Ballet member at American Ballet Theater.

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“I usually get back from work around six or seven. Then I take Frida for a walk. Usually, I cook dinner and prepare food for the next day so I can take it to work or rehearsal. And then I watch TV shows and relax.” Ingrid Silva, Dancer at Dance Theatre of Harlem.

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“With dance, and especially freelance, I’m mostly at the Metropolitan Opera. But it’s not a full-time gig. So you kind of have to supplement it with other choreographers or print work or however it comes out. There are a lot of things that are out of your control. So with my bedroom and my house in general, it is pretty neat.” Danielle Schulz, Dancer at the Metropolitan Opera and freelance artist.

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“In rehearsal, I am obviously very focused on what I am doing and I don’t really like to talk to people much at work or during rehearsal. But outside of work I am completely different. I like to go out and socialize. And then in the bedroom, I am just obviously really relaxed and I just feel like myself.” Elina Miettinen, Corps de Ballet member at American Ballet Theater.

ballerina bedroom elina miettinen damon dahlen huffington post

Damon Dahlen: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [Huffington Post]

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Damon Dahlen.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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