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Bullets to Ballet: Veteran Combat Photographer’s Dance Photos on Display at Lincoln Center’s Dance on Camera Festival

The Eifman Ballet Company of St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo credit Sebastian Rich.

January 13, 2014

After 30 years of filming and photographing the world’s most violent wars and conflicts, award-winning British combat photographer Sebastian Rich turned his lens to something more beautiful but no less powerful – the world of dance. 

The Eifman Ballet Company of St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo credit: Sebastian Rich.From Sunday, Jan. 26 – Saturday, Feb. 8, an exhibit of Rich’s dance photographs, entitled "Bullets to Ballet," will be on display as part of the 42nd annual Dance on Camera Film Festival, part of the Lincoln Center Film Festival. Dance on Camera is a co-production of the Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. An opening reception will be held on Jan. 26 from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Peridance Capezio Center (126 E 13th St, New York).

The exhibit was made possible through the generous support of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies in Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Following the Dance on Camera festival, “Bullets to Ballet” will come to Drexel’s URBN Center (3501 Market St.) from Feb. 10 – Feb. 21. It is free and open to the public.

“As dance film is always evolving, we look to explore the new ways to experience dance on camera,” said Dance on Camera co-curator Liz Wolff. “This year we are thrilled to host a panel discussion with prolific news cameraman and photographer Sebastian Rich. During this panel, Rich will share images and discuss his new passion: capturing dance.”

Peridance Company in New York. Photo credit: Sebastian Rich.Rich’s photo exhibit will be on display at Peridance Capezio Center (126 East 13th Street, New York), where Rich spent time photographing the Peridance Company last year. On Saturday, Feb. 1, at 5 p.m., Rich will join Wolff and Peridance founder and choreographer Igal Perry to discuss his journey from photographing combat to dance. This event will take place at Lincoln Center’s Film Center Amphitheater (144 West 65th St., New York), and is free and open to the public

According to Karen Curry, executive director of the Rudman Institute, who is bringing the show to Drexel, “Sebastian is known for his ability to show the dignity of people in the most extreme situations and to capture moments of joy amidst the pain. This ability to photograph intensity and all its contradictions is on view in a brilliant new way in this stunning photographic homage to dancers and their art. These are the kinds of thought provoking programs the Rudman Institute believes provide students with a multi-faceted and nuanced view of the world of art and entertainment.”  

The sport of pole dance. Photo credit: Sebastian Rich.About Sebastian Rich
Rich has been a photographer/cameraman in hard news, documentary and current affairs for more than 30 years. He was honored with the prestigious Royal Television Society’s Cameraman of the Year award for his dramatic pictures of war and famine throughout Africa. During his career, Rich has filmed and photographed every major war and conflict, including those in El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, The Gulf, Bosnia, Palestine and Iraq.

He has been wounded several times, kidnapped and held hostage while on assignment in Beirut. During the war in Iraq, Rich was embedded with the 2nd Battalion 8th Marines (USMC), or ‘America’s Battalion,” for the entire duration of hostilities. Rich recently completed his second book, Where Fools Rush In, compiled by Hungry Eye Images London. For more information, visit

About the Dance on Camera Festival
Inaugurated in 1971 and considered the “mother” of dance film festivals, the Dance on Camera annually presents a broad range of films including documentaries, shorts, features, experimental works and music videos that celebrate the immediacy of dance combined with the intimacy of film. In 1996, Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center partnered to co-present the Dance on Camera Festival, hosting screenings at the Walter Reade Theater and for the first time during the 40th Anniversary in 2012, at the new Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center. Past partners have included Movement Research, the Baryshnikov Arts Center and The Big Screen Project.

Media Contact

Alex McKechnie