You may have seen self-taught photographer Danny Santos shooting people along Orchard Road during the weekends. Apart from his personal projects, he has shot campaigns for BBH Asia Pacific, OgilvyOne, J.Walter Thompson Singapore and more. In this series, simply titled “Dance in the Street,” he cleverly juxtaposes the grace and elegance of dancers with the chaos of the concrete jungle.
What made you interested in juxtaposing dancers in the streets?
When I started the project, I was already comfortable shooting in the streets as I’ve been dabbling in street photography for quite some time. When the opportunity of photographing dancers came to me, I figured, “Why not shoot dancers in the middle of the streets?” I thought it would be interesting to see such grace and discipline right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the streets—the contrast would be stark yet sort of complementary.
Why choose Orchard Road as one of the locations to shoot?
The architecture stands out, and the lush greenery and diverse mix of crowds in Orchard Road make for a good mix of capturing beauty and chaos. Plus, I’m quite comfortable with the place since I’ve been shooting strangers there for a few years every weekend.
What was the process like when shooting this series?
It’s more of a collaborative process with the dancer. I usually select a location that’s a bit offbeat for a dance shot, and I first make sure that the dancer is game for it. Then from there, we would talk about the different dance poses that would be perfect for the scenario. We try a few poses until we see one that works.
What was the most difficult thing about shooting this series?
Dodging people and vehicle traffic. Oftentimes the location we end up with is either in the middle of the road with cars buzzing through, or in the middle of the street with people walking around. Working with the dancers was far from difficult. They’ve been awesome, patient, and give it all just to get that shot.
What do you think is so interesting about these locations?
One of my favorite aspects of Singapore is its mix of modern architecture, greenery, and conservation of cultural heritage. You can be in the middle of a row of modern shopping malls, and a few minutes later you’re staring at rustic shophouses. It’s a haven for photographers looking for variety and surprises.
How has feedback been like for this series?
It’s been great. I’ve received a number of inquiries and commissions work because of this. I do plan to expand the series though, as there are currently only five images; I’d like to do up to 10 or 15 in the future.
You can find more about Danny Santos’ work on his website.