Intriguing Performance-Based Photography (25 photos)

Performance-based photography is completely intriguing and unbelievably captivating. In fact, there's even a magical quality to it. As subjects dance, jump and even levitate above the floor, they not only show us what's possible but make us question what's impossible. These eight photographers were chosen because they each have their own unique style. They show us how a performance, a precisely, choreographed second, can be captured. Not only does the timing have to be impeccable, everything leading up to that moment, the style, the scene, the actors around them, must all work together in harmony. Denis Darzacq

Denis Darzacq asks dancers and athletes to perform jumps against backgrounds that he has found and prepared. Wearing ordinary clothes, the performers execute leaps in precisely defined settings. These are, in fact, bodies in motion, there's no Photoshop manipulation involved in these pictures. [Link] Jordan Matter

Dancers Among Us is a collection of NYC dance photographs taken by Jordan Matter. An ongoing project that began in the spring of 2009, these images made no use of trampolines or other jumping devices. They were just the result of thousands of hours of training. [Link] Dane Shitagi

Photographer Dane Shitagi brings the beauty of ballet outdoors in the New York City Ballerina Project. Throughout the eight years that Shitagi has been bringing this collection to life, the New York City streets served as his backdrop. Rather than shooting in a studio, he wanted to take his creativity and inspiration from the world outside – preferring the rawness and atmosphere that only a living city could bring. [Link] Robin Rhode

African artist Robin Rhode takes street art to a whole new level by adding in performances. Using everyday materials like chalk, charcoal or paint, he conjures up creative stories and then adds in actors to his “plays.” What starts out as a simple drawing of figures and shapes, magically transforms itself into a clever piece of performance street art! [Link] Julia Fullerton-Batten

In these series of photos, titled In Between, Julia Fullerton-Batten explores the transitory period in a teenage girl's life. As many know, it's a confusing, chaotic time in a woman's life. Julia Fullerton-Batten captures these moments in a beautiful but dark manner. [Link] Raven Smith

Raven Smith's performance-based photos carry themes of identity, vanity, myth making and notions of the ideal. His curious photos make us think about our own ideas of self. [Link] Kerry Skarbakka

Artist Kerry Skarbakka always looks a second away from breaking his bones. His death-defying photos show him plunging from bridges, tripping down the stairs and even slipping over buck-naked in the shower. [Link] Li Wei

More performance art than just photography, Li Wei's work incorporates everything from mirrors to metal wires, items a modern-day magician might even use. Lately, he's centered his work around the idea of gravity, or lack-thereof. [Li Wei] Related: Street Art Comes Alive! Dancers Among Us Gravity Defying Photography

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