many thanks to ‘wendelien daan’ (who i’m currently working with) for pointing me to this great image/story:
Sylvie Guillem was the top-ranking female dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet from 1984 to 1989, before becoming a principal guest artist with the Royalt Ballet in London.
When Guillem was approached by French Vogue to be photographed in 2001, she was presented with a clutch of the world’s best fashion photographers to choose from. She rejected all of them. She claimed that they would not ‘see who I was … I knew I would end up as a mannequin. I would not do that.’ To prove the point she instead picked up the camera and photographed herself naked for the magazine. The result became a dramatic and candid view of a working, punished dancer’s body and a testimony of what hard work, no compromise and no censorship can display. Hats off to you, Sylvie. Literally.