Gene Schiavone, photographer to ballet stars

Gene Schiavone

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Gene Schiavone of Essex retired from his corporate job, got the photography bug and is now among the most acclaimed dance photographers in the world.

In the last 15 years, he has taken about 600,000 photographs.

He is a staff photographer for the American Ballet Theatre…here’s tonight’s NYBERG.

“I developed the skills that were necessary, the technical skills,” he said. “I’m a professional.”

He said it is partly practice. “It’s instinctive, you need to know about the white balance, the lighting and the ISO and the grain, and you try to reduce the grain, and all the technical stuff, but to get that shot it’s timing.”

“Everything is timing and I can’t explain it to you, but, I have really good timing,” Schiavone said. Judging his own work, he said, “It’s a fairly perfect photograph. That’s Svetlana Sakarioff, one of the top dancers in the world, and David Hallberg, who used to dance in New York and who is now dancing in Russia.”

He added, “I took that at Bolshoi Ballet. It was at Lincoln Center three weeks ago and I took that photo there.”

Getting it right the first time is important, according to Schiavone. “Everything is one shot, you don’t say could you take it again. I’m sitting in the back of the orchestra watching the performance with 2,000 people in the theater.”

His work takes everywhere, including Russia.

When the greats in the dance world want to be photographed they call up Schiavone. He says he probably takes about 1,000 shots a performance. He’s also the photographer to Radio City Music Hall’s famed Rockettes.

To hear more from Schiavone go to WTNH-dot-com and click on NYBERG,.


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