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Diana Vishneva's Context festival

Saint Petersburg

Workshop Theatre photography

Dostoevsky Library № 19
Starting time
14-18 October

Diana Vishneva's Context festival will host a workshop dedicated to one of the most interesting areas of theatrical photography — shooting dance performances.

«This year the objective – both for me and for the participants of Theatre Photography workshop– could be formulated in the following way: I want my workshop to become not only a team of photographers, brought together by their love for theatre, but also a part of Context festival, – and a significant part. Not to photograph the things which are happening, but to understand what you are photographing. By the way, one should also consider that the results of one’s work would influence opinions about the festival and, eventually, about contemporary dance in general.

I am planning not only to share my knowledge and help you to overcome technical difficulties, but also to provide you with such an amount of work that a 24-hour day will not be enough for you. I need you to fully immerse yourself into work, given that no one is going to limit your creative freedom, and the opinion of an author will be decisive – both during photography sessions and discussions of the photographs. Perceive your participation in the festival as a creative project of this year titled “Context” and do you best so that this would become a significant event not only for you personally, but for theatre photography as a whole. It is not by accident that I mentioned the word “project”: both during the selection process and the workshop activities, the preference will be given to the authors, who would and could create their own visual imagery, held together by the common idea and style.

The workshop will be functioning in two formats – studio format and practical format, therefore we will photograph and then discuss the insights and mistakes.
It certainly is not easy to photograph in theatre, but this is not the most difficult part; the most difficult part is to think and feel in such a way that this could be manifested in your photographs. This is exactly what we are all going to learn. The workshop will be held on 14 – 18 October for the full day.

I am waiting for applications from talented people. Let’s work together» — Mark Olich about his workshop.

With support from

  • Mark Olich, Russia
Mark Olich

Mark Olich is an artist and theatrical photographer, member of the Russian Union of Art Photographers, participant of exhibitions, curator. For many years he has been working at many dance festivals, the most notable examples being CONTEXT, Dance Open, and Diaghilev P.S., the Mariinsky Theater, Boris Eifman Ballet Theatre and almost all companies of classical and contemporary dance. Painting and drawings by Mark Olich have been bought by private and public collections in Russia and Japan. The YellowKorner photo gallery exhibits his works in several dozen countries, and his theatre-themed prints are known all over the world.

Mark Olich began his career as a graphic artist and set designer in 2000 when he joined the Mariinsky Theater, and at the same time he began to explore theatre photography. He came up with an idea to show the dance world from the inside and it eventually led to two series of photos Behind the Scenes and Theatrical Sketches — the first focused the viewers’ attention on a darkened hidden space, while the second showed the opposed — a brightly lit sacred scene. Mark named his works sketches because he experiments with the synthesis of classical photography and drawings trying to fully show the world of theater in a sharp and artistic way.

Mark Olich shoots projects and performances for Diana Vishneva, Uliana Lopatkina and many other world ballet stars.