Gjon Mili Nora Kaye, Pas de Bourree (detail)
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1947 Print Date 1947
Dimensions 9-3/4 x 11-1/2 in. (248 x 292 mm)
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer's 6 East 23rd Street Stamp on verso. Stroboscopic image of Nora Kaye of the American Ballet Theatre, performing a Pas de Bourree (detail). SEE Gjon Mili, Photographs and Recollections, pg. 55
In the late 1930s, working with Harold Eugene Edgerton of MIT, Gjon Mili pioneered the use of photoflash to capture a sequence of actions in one photograph. Trained as an engineer and self-taught in photography, Mili was the first to expand the scientific use of electronic flash and stroboscopic light to create photographs of an artistic nature. 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. He was born in 1904 in Albania, came to America in 1923, and was a LIFE magazine freelance photographer from 1939 until his death in 1984. In the introduction to his book, "Photographs and Recollections, GJON MILI" , Jean-Paul Sartre wrote, "...he likes everything: eating, drinking, dancing. Harlem he knows better than any white man; New York he knows better than anyone.He is happy. He does not want to kill you -- far worse, he wants to catch you alive." And Cartier-Bresson said, "it is because so much is to be learned from his technical proficiency that Mili is a master."
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