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CCAA Gala Event: Kaleidoscope

It’s been a while since I last photographed a dance performance. Since that show 2 years ago, I always seem to be busy whenever the Chinese Collective Arts Association (CCAA) perform. Looking to photograph something unrelated to weddings for a change, I saw that the CCAA were having their annual gala event. Having expressed my interest to one of the organizers, I was put on the list of volunteers despite there already being a number of other photographers; thanks Karen for fitting me in last minute! :)

This year’s gala event was called “Kaledioscope”. A pre-event reception included Chinese tea sampling and calligraphy demonstrations but the main draw of the night was of course the dancing. It was a beautiful program of award-winning classical and ethnic Chinese dances, instrumental music, and a special guest performance by Harry Hu Hua Zhi who is a face-changing opera artist. With lots of colourful costumes, props, and stage lighting, I’m editing the images to retain a vibrant feel but making sure that skin tones look relatively natural.

Each shoot always presents its own challenges and I feel like the main one for this event was the distance to the stage. Even with my lens zoomed in to 200mm, I couldn’t achieve any of the close-up compositions that I would have liked to create so instead I focused more on capturing forms and peak moments of action. Interestingly, the etymology of the word kaleidoscope literally means “observer of beautiful forms”. Peering through my viewfinder throughout the show, it was as if I was looking through a kaleidoscope of grace, beauty, and athleticism.

A few more unique photos can also be found on my Facebook page. Enjoy the photos!

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