Massively Popular Instagram Account Portrays NYC As An Empty Urban Landscape Where Only Ballerinas Roam

Wildly popular Instagram account “Ballerina Project” has created something magnificent.

For over 14 years, photographer Dane Shitagi has been photographing beautiful, strong, and powerful women dancing all over New York City.

This is not your run of the mill catalogue dance photography. The juxtaposition of the incredible strength of the dancers’ bodies plus a seemingly devoid urban landscape creates a captivating visual experience.

The Tumblr page for the Ballerina Project explains the high calibre of talent used in these photographs:

The majority of ballerinas who have posed for the project are currently or have danced for companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Dresden Semperopera Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet West, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

When social media emerged, Shitagi took advantage, creating pages for his photo series on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter. Currently, it is the largest dance photography page on Facebook with 850,000 “likes” and its Instagram account has about 500,000 followers.

“Much of the project has been photographed on traditional film and cameras,” Shitagi explains on Tumblr. “Only as of the late Spring 2012 the project has begun to incorporate digital photography for a portion of our latest images.”

Shitagi wanted to take advantage of all of the boroughs when he set out to create this series. This is Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Fourteen years ago, when the project began, most of the photos were taken using film.

It wasn't until 2011 or so, that Shitagi incorporated digital elements.

He doesn't always showcase an entire body. You can sense how strong the dancer's body is just by looking at her calves and feet in this photo taken in a NYC taxi.

Shitagi takes a mix of black-and-white and colour photos.

And the photos aren't always in perfect focus. Here's an out-of-focus shot on West 4th street in the West Village.

These photos are incredible because it looks like there's no one in the city at all.

The photos were shot around the clock.

And throughout the year.

It was important that the photos represented a sketch of life in New York City.

This shot was taken right in front of Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side.

Here's one in Grand Central Terminal.

These professional dancers can seemingly pose anywhere, like a fire escape in an East Village apartment building.

Or an empty subway car.

Sometimes the photos are unsuspecting; the dancers look like regular people in regular street clothes.

Posing in the water in Central Park.

And under the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Ballerina Project has since expanded to other places around the world. Here, a dancer jumps into a pose in Hawaii.

But New York is where most of the photos are taken. Here's one on the Williamsburg Bridge that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Don't try this at home.

They blend into their urban background.

And every place in the city can be a rehearsal area.

Or a place to rest your head.

This photo, taken on Broadway near Union Square, makes it feel like there's no one else living in the city.

The colours make the photo pop.

And you really get a sense of the power and strength these women possess.

Here's a gorgeous silhouette portrait taken in Central Park.

And a still of a striking pose as the city rushes by.

This 15-year-old has an awesome Instagram account.

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