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Ronald Compton built a studio in his basement and began to photograph dancers in the late 1980s. At the time he was still the chairman and CEO of a large insurance company, and taking pictures, he thought, was just a hobby. He spent his Saturdays watching dancers through his camera and making photographs of them, and he has continued to develop a strong visual relationship to dance and movement over the last decade. This book is the result of those efforts. Dancers--alone, in couples, in costume, or nude--Compton catches them in the midst of motion. Witness a close-up of a dancer swathed in netting, or one barely balanced in a back bend on her toes and her head. These images are not the work of a mere hobbyist: Compton began taking photos in his grandmother's basement, and he supported himself through college by photographing weddings. Later, throughout his busy schedule of meetings, business trips, and more meetings, Compton took pictures whenever he could--on the weekends and sometimes back in the basement. After looking at these incredibly accomplished photographs, readers can't help but wonder if perhaps his career in insurance wasn't the hobby and photography his true vocation all along. --J.P. Cohen
About the Author
Photographer Ronald Compton was, until March 1998, chairman of Aetna. He currently lives in Hartford, Connecticut.
Introduction by Larry Alan Smith Essay by Ralph Gibson Interview by Robert S. Miller
A passionate study of the transitory beauty of dance.
In Stillpoint, photographer Ronald Compton captures on film the visceral beauty of classical ballet and modern dance. The former CEO of a major worldwide insurance company, Compton eschewed the monochromatic world of spreadsheets and meetings in favor of a more aesthetic pursuit: photographing members of dance companies in New York City and Hartford, Connecticut. Compton's work exhibits a remarkable sensitivity to subtleties of form and a flair for theatrical color. Hours spent watching rehearsals and performances have given him a fine eye for the grace of dancers' movements and the effort and determination necessary to photograph them. Stillpoint is a paean to the capabilities and beauty of the human body and the creative spirit. Stillpoint contains an Introduction by Larry Alan Smith, president of the School of American Ballet, and an essay by photographer Ralph Gibson. In an interview conducted by Robert S. Miller-chairman and CEO of Waste Management, the world's biggest "environmental services" firm-Compton discusses the differences and similarities between his two careers.
30 Four-Color Photographs/50 Duotone Images