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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Easy as ABC: Dance group members contort into all 26 letters of the alphabet

By Mail Foreign Service


Twisted in a variety of positions, the dancers of the Pilobolus Dance Theatre have managed to recreate 26 individual poses to become the human alphabet.

Bringing literal meaning to the phrase 'give me an A', the six performing contortionists were put through their paces in collaboration with photographer John Kane.

Approached by the famous New Hampshire dance collective to help create a book not only for children, but also for adults, John, 58 and Pilobolus took four days to run through the full 26 positions.

Photographer John Kane and the Pilobolus Dance Theatre shot the poses for a book for both children and adults

Using John's studio at his home in Litchfield, in Connecticut, the highly trained dancers and photographer went through the motions from A, all the way through to Z.

'The hardest letters to produce were C and R, but I couldn't tell you how we did them, other than to say that we didn't use Photoshop at all,' said John, who has been a photographer for over 30 years and has worked with Pilobolus for 12.

'We used tricks of the trade for this project, to make the eventual pictures as colourful and clear as they possibly could be to children.

The letters C and R were the hardest to recreate - but John is adamant that Photoshop was not used

'The dancers from Pilobolus were all extremely professional and because they are used to being in such intimate positions with each other, found the sessions extremely fun.'

Pilobolus has been wowing audiences in America since 1971 and even performed at the 2007 Oscar's forming various silhouetted figures representative of those years' nominees from behind a screen.

'This was a project designed to show off the dancers skills and as a learning aid for children,' said John.

'Each letter in the book comes with a shape made by the dancers, such as ant, which then corresponds with the letter A.'

John (far right) and Pilobolus took four days to run through the 26 letters of the alphabet

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