Flocks by Nir Arieli

Nir Arieli launched his career as a military photographer for the Israeli magazine Bamachane, before receiving a scholarship to pursue a BFA at New York’s School of Visual Arts; he graduated with honors. Nir's photographic passion is within the portraiture and dance fields. He is an admirer of gentleness, beauty that embodies a sense of conflict and physical intelligence. 

There are two things that triggered this project. One is the question: What happens when the movement is over? I was interested in watching the dancers at rest because I felt that there is a charge, and there are traces that are remain in their body even when they are not "in the action of dance". The second trigger was to look at this really special social bubble of the dance company. In Hebrew, my native language, we use the same word (להקה) for a (dance) "company" and a "flock" (of animals). When I thought about that it made a lot of sense. The English definition of the word is "a number of animals of one kind, feeding, resting, or traveling together". I thought that describes in a pretty exact way the dance company. Dancers are like a special species, and the company is a place that ties their destiny together in a very intense way. They create, practice, perform and travel together. Very close and complex relationships are formed in this social sphere and I found it fascinating. It is the first time I worked with such large groups of dancers and I was interested in what is a company and what identity is formed by the group from the many individual creatives that form it.

All photos by Nir Arieli