Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ashley Laracey on the Beach

Even on vacation, the urge to dance finds us all. 

In March, Troy and I were on vacation in St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands. After a day at our villa's pool, en route to dinner one night, we stopped to watch the sunset at our favorite beach, Cinnamon Bay. After we took a stroll down to the other side of the beach and back, I began to dance my solo from Troy's ballet Epistasis

Troy captured my movements on film.

Ashley Laracey on the Beach - Cinnamon Bay St. John, USVI from BalletCollective on Vimeo.

The film is fresh, young, and inviting. My clothing has a beach feel, yet without being too cliche. The sun's natural lighting creates an atmospheric world for the film. The beach is a dynamic setting for dance with the sand's texture, the ocean's sight and soundtrack, and the mountainous background. This film is original and captures Troy's choreography from many view points. The up-close shots help to showcase the subtle movements he has created. 

Dancing in the sand was such an amazing feeling. My senses were heightened. The sand texture moving underneath my toes felt like no other dance surface, yet somehow perfect for my steps. The wind in my hair felt freeing and the water, refreshing. The lighting of the melting sun created an incredible back drop and silhouette as I moved across the almost vacant beach. Throughout dancing I was completely in my own world. Soaking up the beauty around me. It was an incredible experience. 

Inside the Making of the Video:

In my own world while dancing, I had no idea that many of the remaining beach goers who lingered until sunset were watching my impromptu performance. The site of my dance happened to be quite central on the beach, allowing people to watch from a distance without us knowing. This particular spot was chosen, spontaneously, when I had the urge to dance with an empty beach surrounding me. After the filming ended, many observers stopped by to express how much they loved watching me dance. It was something they had never seen before, ballet on the sand. 

Was there music? No, just me dancing to the ocean's sound! It was surreal. 

Was this planned? No, it was an entirely spontaneous happening. I saw an empty patch of beach and danced! Once Troy got his camera out and saw the beautiful scenic view and lighting he had me do the solo from different angles. The video is a compilation of multiple takes. 

And the choreographed water splashing? That was Troy's idea. To be honest, I wasn't too keen on this as we were headed to dinner after the sunset and I didn't want to get wet. But he convinced me, and it was so much fun! Dinner following was delicious and by then, I was dry.


  1. that´s like transformation from the reality into the inner world. Love it!

  2. Great movements, it was beautiful! Troy's idea about the water splashing was great-- one of my favorite parts!