Legendary Dance Photographer Martha Swope Dies

Photographer Martha Swope passed away in her home in New York City on January 12th. Ms. Swope was instrumental in advancing the field of dance photography.

Born in Texas in 1928, she moved to NYC to study at the School of American Ballet, where she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Jerome Robbins and Lincoln Kirstein, who eventually offered her a job as New York City Ballet's official photographer, a position that she held for many years.

Swope was one of the first photographers to work on catching dance live, as it was happening - not just posing dancers in a studio. Her subjects were a myriad of recognizable names - from Mikhail Baryshinkov to Liza Minnelli to Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera.

Her legacy will surely last for years to come. See some of her legendary photographs below.

photo: Dancin' by Martha Swope

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.