Since we agreed that the main focus of our project would be on how Adilzhan places importance on exercise and keeping fit, we arranged to shoot at a concert where the ARDI break-dance team had been invited to perform. I arrived before the other guys and was able to shoot how Adilzhan and Slava, the team’s leader negotiated the stairs at the venue.
Prior to the performance, the guys got warmed up and rehearsed. Three of the team members are non-disabled, while the other members have disabilities – chiefly CP and oligophreny. Dance is a way for them to exercise and express themselves, and also serves as a locus for socialising. The guys have a lot of fun, and the non-disabled dancers (who are also the trainers) are not condescending in any way, but very supportive.
Not sure if any of these images will make it to the final cut, it depends on whether I decide to use the break-dance photos themselves, really.
As usual with theatre photography, the lighting makes life very difficult but the end results can be very dramatic because of the dense shadows and lighting contrast. Since these images show an activity that none of the other participants are engaged in, I will most likely use at least one of them. I will need to get Adilzhan to speak of the importance of dance, and how it helps him to express himself or feel like he is participating in something meaningful.