This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Behind the Lens

Many will know Ethan Watts as a dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, but few may know he is a keen photographer. Watts joined us on the set of our upcoming video for Fjord Review #2 at the invitation of Karolina Kuras, to capture the action and ambience of the shoot. Watts photographs exclusively with film. His pictures show not only a trained dancer's eye, but a clear instinct for catching the moment.

Ethan Watts. Photograph by Karolina Kuras for Skylar Campbell Dance Collective

subscribe to the latest in dance


“Uncommonly intelligent, substantial coverage.”

  • Weekly articles from the world of dance
  • Wide diversity of reviews, interviews, articles & more
  • Support for quality art journalism

Already a paid subscriber? Login

Watts, born and raised in San Francisco, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and at the Academy of Ballet, California. He joined the National Ballet of Canada in 2013 and notably cavaliered his partner Hannah Fischer to success at the 2015 International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize. What follows are excerpts from our brief back-and-forth on Instagram, where I asked Watts about his foray into photography.

FR: How did you become interested in photography, and using film in particular?

EW: My dad used to take pictures on his film camera when I was a kid, and I don't know, I actually thought it was annoying because he would make me stop all the time and take a picture. I don't know how I started, I just tried it and loved it, honestly. I love taking pictures and I love the uncertainty of film.

I love taking pictures and I love the uncertainty of film

Ethan Watts

FR: How would you describe your approach to photography?

EW: My approach is to try to cater to whatever I'm photographing—to try and get to know whatever or whoever—and just be aware of how the person or thing or place feels. But I love photographing people, because people are just the best.

FR: What about cats and dogs?

EW: O fu*k, how could I forget. I love my babies, George and Penelope, and I really believe there are no bad pictures of them, their beautiful spirits always shine through my sometimes subpar skill level.

Ethan Watts' photography will appear in Fjord Review #2. [For pictures of George and Penelope, see Watts' Instagram.]

Penelope Ford


Penelope is the founding editor of Fjord Review, international magazine of dance and ballet. Penelope graduated from Law and Arts with majors in philosophy and languages from the University of Melbourne, Australia, before turning to the world of dance. She lives in Italy.

comments

Featured

Dancing with You
REVIEWS | Karen Hildebrand

Dancing with You

The stage is strewn with potatoes. Single straight back chair, overturned. A canteen. At center is a life scale charcoal sketch, unframed on canvas. It looks like a human figure topped by a dark smudge of a head—the shape calls to mind a famous work of Gustav Klimt. 

Continue Reading
Fifth Avenue Blooms
REVIEWS | Faye Arthurs

Fifth Avenue Blooms

How long is their nap?” my three-year-old asked about halfway through the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s performance of “Group Primary Accumulation,” a 20-minute supine dance for four.

Continue Reading
They Were There
BOOKSHELF | Candice Thompson

They Were There

In her new biography, The Swans of Harlem, journalist Karen Valby is witness to the testimony of five pioneering Black ballerinas intimate with the founding history of Dance Theatre of Harlem. 

FREE ARTICLE
Level Up
REVIEWS | Rachel Howard

Level Up

Sacramento Ballet executive and artistic director Anthony Krutzkamp dresses sharp and gives a memorable pre-curtain speech. The way he tells it, the Central California company was in rehearsals for “Swan Lake” last year when he realized he faced an enviable problem: the dancers were too good for the ballets he’d programmed under a five-year plan. 

Continue Reading
Good Subscription Agency