Ken Browar and Deborah Ory “Charlotte Landreau, Soloist, Martha Graham Dance Company” photograph
Ken Browar & Deborah Ory
Photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory are the creative team behind the NYC Dance Project, a photography pursuit that documents the world’s elite dancers in NYC. Through captivating and compelling photographs depicting movement and elegance, the NYC Dance Project perhaps might not have been possible if it were not for the couple’s ballet-loving daughter.
The renowned NYC Dance Project, which aims to record each dancer’s unique strength and beauty as well as to capture the passion and emotion they emit, was born out of a need to represent these contemporary performers. When searching for photographs of contemporary dancers to gift to their ballerina daughter, Ken and Deborah realized that although older generations like Baryshnikov and Barbara Morgan’s “Martha Graham” photo were well-known and circulated, present-day dancers were not represented adequately. As both Ken and Deborah had a passion for dance (Deborah as a retired dancer), they merged their backgrounds in fashion and editorial photography and decided to take on the project of documenting the dance community and promote the dance practice as it unfolds today.
“In recent years, the remarkable dance photos of Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, have brought home, again and again, the idea that an instant can invoke the world – a microcosm in a moment.” – Jane Eilbert, Artistic Director, Martha Graham Dance Company
Ken Browar grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Paris with a plan to become a photographer for half a year at the age of 19. Staying in Paris 20 years later, his love for photographing movement began by capturing dancers at the Paris Opera Ballet. His fashion photography work is renowned, having worked for many European magazines including Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire. Deborah Ory is a retired professional dancer. She began photographing the rehearsals she was supposed to be in using a camera her father had brought home, creating a connection between photography and dance early on. Her work includes editorial assignments for House & Garden, Mirabella, Self, Health, Martha Stewart Living, and Real Simple. Ken and Deborah together both form the collaborative partnership that is the NYC Dance Project.
NYC Dance Project has been featured in many magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Italian Vogue, L’Uomo, Vogue, and Glamour. Their work has been featured internationally in the press, such as CNN, The Guardian, The London Times, Washington Post, Today.com, Elle.com, Huffington Post, Hasselblad, and many others. The Art of Movement was published on October 25, 2016, and won an International Photography Award for best book. The book features over 70 dancers in it and is a 300-page coffee table book. They are currently working on their second book, which will be published by Rizzoli. The work is represented by the Holden Luntz Gallery in Palm Beach, Florida and by the Lanoue Gallery in Boston. The work has also been exhibited at the “Dance on Camera” festival at Lincoln Center in the Furman Gallery.