If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Lens According to Gjon Mili




“Time could truly be made to stand still. Texture could be retained despite sudden violent movement.”





Gjon Mili (born 1904, Korça, Albania 1984) was an Albanian-American photographer.

Born to Vasil Mili and Viktori Cekani, came to the United States in 1923. Fifteen years later, he was a photographer for Life (a relationship that continued until his death in 1984), and his assignments took him to the Riviera (Picasso); to Prades, France (Pablo Casals in exile); to Israel (Adolf Eichmann in captivity); to Florence, Athens, Dublin, Berlin, Venice, Rome, and Hollywood to photograph celebrities and artists, sports events, and concerts, and sculptures and architecture.

Trained as an engineer and self-taught in photography, Gjon Mili was the first to use electronic flash and stroboscopic light to create photographs that had more than scientific interest. Since the late 1930s, his pictures of dance, athletics, and musical and theatrical performances have astonished and delighted millions of viewers, revealing the beautiful intricacy and graceful flow of movement too rapid or too complex for the eye to discern. His portraits of artists, musicians, and other notables are less visually spectacular, but equally masterful.

In 1939, Mili became a freelance photographer working for LIFE. In the course of more than four decades, literally thousands of his pictures were published by LIFE as well as other publications.

Gjon Mili is the one photographer who has formed our contemporary visual understanding of movement, both in the direct example of his pictures and in the influence his work has had on all action photographers who have come after him.

His book Photographs and Recollections is a summary of his fifty years of work in photography. -- Wikipedia




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Gjon Mili. Moira Shearer.
Ballerina Moira Shearer
Ballerina Moira Shearer 1
Ballerina Moira Shearer as Cinderella
Moira Shearer
Gene Kelly by Gjon Mili
Tony & Sally DeMarco, ballroom dance team 1941

Tony & Sally DeMarco
Tony & Sally DeMarco1
Alicia Alonso & Hugh Laing executing a grande jete en avant
Ballet dancer Hugh Laing executing a leap w. legs crossed
Ballet dancer Hugh Laing executing a leap w. legs split
Alicia Alonso & Hugh Laing executing a port de bras
Prima ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white costume
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 3
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 4
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 5
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage7
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 10
Dancer actor Gene Kelly in multiple-exposure dance sequence 1944
Dancer Anita John (front), of Anita John School of Dance, doing an interpretive dance on beach
Kaye Popp & Stanley Catron demonstrating steps of The Lindy Hop.
Figure skater Carol Lynne movements are charted by flashlights imbedded in each boot while stroboscopic light stops her in mid-leap
Figure skater Carol Lynne does an arabesque camel spin illustrated by flashlights imbedded in each boot
Spanish dancer Jose Greco performing
Stroboscopic Dancer
Spanish flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya (R) performing w. her sister Antonia
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Untitled study of nude female dancer
GjonMili 1947
George Balanchine w. dancer Suzanne Farrell
corps de ballet in a performance of the NYCB production of Harlequinade
American Ballet Theater production of The Nutcracker1947
N.Y. Ballet-Tanaquil Leclerc
Dancer Tanaquil LeClercq performing portion of Bouree Fantasque at Gjon Mili's studio.
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Multiple exposure of Antony Blum and Kay Mazzo.
Allegra Kent & John Prinz in pas de deux.
Multiple exposure of Allegra Kent & Anthony Blum in New York City Ballet production of Dances at a Gathering choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
Multiple exposure of Allegra Kent & Anthony Blum in New York City Ballet production of Dances at a Gathering choreographed by Jerome Robbins 1
 George Balanchine & dancer Suzanne Farrell in costume for the ballet Don Quixote.


Multiple exposure of Kay Mazzo & John Prinz.
Stroboscopic image of dancer Ethel Butler of the Martha Graham Dance Group performing - 1941 (LIFE)
Nureyev in his prime, dancing w. Margot Fonteyn.
Betty Friedman jumping 1937
Marjorie Bell & Loren Hightower in unident. ballet.
Violette Verdy (L) & Roland Petit (R)
Alicia Alonso & Igor Youskevitch 1947
New York City Ballet 1956
Moira Shearer Red Shoes 1948
Triple exposure of ballerina Alicia Markova
ballerina Alicia Markova 1944
Triple exposure of ballerina Alicia Markova of the American Ballet Theater dancing the title role of Giselle
Dancer Angna Enters performing Odalisque, a dance on a couch, in a series of four photographs
Dancer Angna Enters performing Odalisque, a dance on a couch, in a series of four photographs 1
Dancer Angna Enters performing Odalisque, a dance on a couch, in a series of four photographs 2
Dancer Angna Enters performing Odalisque, a dance on a couch, in a series of four photographs 3
Alicia Alonso
Fernando Alonso & Norma Vance in costume for Peter and the Wolf, Gala Performance respectively.
Romeo and Juliet Nora Kaye w. Hugh Laing.
Alicia Alonso, John Kriza, Janet Reed 1940
Dark Elegies 1947 Lucia Chase, John Kriza (R) & unident
Petrouchka Lucia Chase 1943
Violette Verdy (L) & Roland Petit (R) in pas de deux from the Roland Petit Ballet Company production of Ballet du Loup.
Suzanne Farrell in the NYCB production of Tzigane choreographed by George Balanchine
Tony & Sally DeMarco, ballroom dance team 1941
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage.
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 1
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 2
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 6
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 8
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in white tutu dancing alone on stage 9
Spanish dancer Jose Greco
Martha Graham performing her own work.






 *Original post Apr 6, 2011



*I claim no credit for any images featured here.
All images are by LIFE magazine
and photographer Gjon Mili*






2 comments:

  1. Corazon, I didn't know you do ballet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahaha
    I'm such a sucker
    for tutus, en pointes
    and arabesques!

    ReplyDelete