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Los Angeles Times
April 2, 1998

 

VISIONS OF DANCE: Angelique Antoniou's photograph 
of a row of ballerinas creates a Degas-like image.

 

Conceptual Contrasts
In Brand Library exhibits, one photographer toys with shapes and space, while another explores details of dance -  By Joseph Woodward

 

Photography is the medium of the month at the Brand Library, but the artists involved in the dual exhibition are two minds about their chosen craft. One uses the medium as a part of a larger process, as a conceptual ploy, while the other heads down the middle of photojournalistic tradition ....

 

Reality Checking: On the other hand, photographer Angelique Antoniou is quite content to let the medium be itself. Her photography adheres to the time-honored convention of using the camera as a means of capturing what Henri Cartier-Bresson called "decisive moments."

In the case of her show in the Atrium Gallery, the moments worth capturing are all about the world of dance, often behind-the-scenes, or to the side of center stage.

 

Coincidentally, Antoniou is also showing work as part of the "Human Presence" group exhibit at the Century Gallery - a rare time when an artist shows different work concurrently in the Valley. There the subject is more human, in the expected, everyday sense, focusing especially on children and the elderly.

 

At the Brand, her images reveal an artist piqued by the things that captivated Degas with his enigmatic paintings of dancers - a half-lit, kinetic, athletic, graceful domain. Shot at various spots around the globe, Antoniou's imagery works best when the subject is not onstage, but to the side.

There are telling details and precious glimpses of dancers. In "Degas Remembrance," leggy ballerinas lounge in the wings, in nervous anticipation. And in "Legs in a Row," dancers form an echoing cascade of diagonal limbs across the composition, contrasting the gauzy rustle of their costumes.

 

This is the best image of her bunch. It says a lot about the almost paradoxical elements of muscularity and flight in dance, as well as the sentient eye of the photographer, artfully lurking, waiting for the right decisive moment.