Ani Collier

The first half of my life, I was always performing in front of an audience or a camera. Although I retired my pointe shoes more than fifteen years ago, the pull from the ballet world was too strong for me to walk away completely. The stories, the shapes, the lights, the dancers, the choreography, and the compositions were all too ingrained in my mind. Slowly, but surely, I picked up where I had left off; however, this time I returned to dance behind the lens of a camera.

There are a few themes that have emerged in my work since taking up photography and film more than eight years ago, which are evident in the pieces I am submitting. One is my fascination with cities; having grown up under Communism in Bulgaria, I never imagined that I would see the Berlin Wall fall or that I would be able to travel freely to the West. Other themes in my work include my love of movement, architecture, and beauty. It is evidenced in the way that I capture my subjects and how I manipulate a composition’s lines and shapes.

Although a photograph only records a single moment in time, the collages and films that I make tell stories – stories of love and loss, struggle, and quests for understanding. I feel that through digital photography, filming, and manipulation, I am able to choreograph again – albeit virtually. In a way, I am still dancing; only now, I dance with my images.