A career in the performing arts is certainly not a choice for the faint of heart, but for those with the requisite resilience, dedication, talent and courage, it can be a thoroughly rewarding decision.
SmugMug Films director Anton Lorimer and mime artist/dance photographer Omar Z Robles both believe that taking that leap of faith was the best decision they’ve ever made. The pair recently teamed up in the hopes of inspiring others to pursue their creative passions.
In SmugMug’s latest film, Pointe of Focus, directed by Lorimer, Robles tells his unique story while capturing the beauty of Brazil and its ballet dancers through his photography.
Robles began his career as an engineering student but chose to follow his heart and study mime theatre in Paris under the tutelage of legendary mime actor Marcel Marceau.
After 10 years of study and performance, Robles made another leap, quite literally, into photography, capturing his own jumps and leaps in unique cityscapes and backgrounds around New York. Eventually, he decided it was time to outsource the dancing to local dancers to enable himself to focus more on the directions and integrity of his shots. Since then, Robles has photographed dancers from all over the world.
“Dancers are different,” Robles tells Dance Informa. “They walk different. They become their art. When you see them move, leap, extend, that’s when you really understand how extraordinary they are.”
Lorimer says the Robles’ all-consuming passion for his subject is what inspired him to include the creative man in the SmugMug series.
“So many of us spend a lot of our time figuring out what we want to do and how we want to spend our lives, so I think it’s really compelling to document others who have figured that out,” says Lorimer. “Seeing Omar’s passion and familiarity with dance was really inspiring. The way he worked with the dancers, as well as running around and experiencing a new city like Rio, was just incredible.”
Lorimer believes there are a lot of similarities among the artists and photographers he has captured in his films.
“Unlike many professions that have clear, structured paths, the arts are much less defined and largely based on your talent and dedication,” he says. “A lot of the really good photographers whom I capture come from a specific subculture that they are really immersed in. And I get to learn about that subculture with every film I make. It’s that access that they have that really allows them to do the work they want to do. Their passion usually comes first, and they’re a photographer second. Omar loved performance art so much, he just had to capture it.”
The basis of SmugMug Films, the video production division of photo storage and sharing platform SmugMug, is to help others rethink their path or take a leap of faith into something they’re passionate about. To learn more about SmugMug and the film, Pointe of Focus, visit .
By Grace Gassin of Dance Informa.