Photographer Amy Elkins has spent the past seven years of her career focusing on projects that have one common theme: masculinity and the male identity. Her previous work has led her to photograph hyper-masculine figures from rugby players to death-row prison inmates. For her latest project Danseur, Elkins gravitated to the opposite end of the spectrum, capturing a more feminine side of male-hood.
In Danseur, we meet male contemporary and ballet dancers in Copenhagen, Denmark. The subjects range in age from young boys to adults, all of whom are working towards or are already professional dancers. Elkins chose to photograph each of the dancers moments after intense training. Her notion is that when someone is winding down from an intense moment, the recovery softens the impression of other things occurring around them and they are more likely to feel relaxed in front of her lens.
Elkins’ interest in these dancers lie in their ability to push past gender stereotypes. “Any male or female that looks past the boundaries of what society deems masculine or feminine push these gender stereotypes. Men that reveal a vulnerability, fragility or femininity are pushing these boundaries,” she says.
All images © Amy Elkins