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Michaela DePrince (Vimeo)

Dancers After Dark

Michaela DePrince, war orphan and globally renowned ballerina, poses nude in Times Square

By WITW Staff on October 21, 2016

Globally renowned ballerina Michaela DePrince, a 21-year-old war orphan from Sierra Leone, features in new photobook from portrait photographer Jordan Matter called Dancers After Dark. The project has dancers posing at night in public locations in the U.S. and Europe with one caveat — none of the dancers are wearing any clothing.

Matter, whose previous work, Dancers Among Us, showed dancers posing in everyday locations such as train stations and parks, said that by posing nude the dancers were able to showcase the physical result of their commitment to their craft.

“Dancers are dreamers, many have left the comfort zone of a familiar life to pursue an ambition fraught with nearly impossible odds of success,” said Matter. “Etched into their bodies is extraordinary perseverance, and when stripped of their clothing we see each layer of muscle and every subtlety of physical expression. They are an inspiring embodiment of intense commitment to a life’s passion.”

DePrince, who opened the Women in the World Summit in London with a stunning performance last year, said that she was glad to be able to represent black dancers by appearing in the photo series.

“I was told when I was younger that I would never be a dancer, and this [project] gives me an opportunity to show little black ballerinas that you can love your body, and to be proud of your body,” said DePrince. “You’re going to turn out to be absolutely beautiful. Show it off. Be who you are, and just be an artist.”

Watch video of DePrince’s photoshoot with Matter.

And below see her riveting WITW Summit performance.

Read the full story at Buzzfeed.


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