A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Marthe's Lovely Foot
Friday, May 12, 2006

I first saw Marthe when I had to photograph a rehearsal of Jennifer Mascall's dance tribute to Emily Carr, The Brutal Telling, in October of 1998. The two dancers in the performance, Marthe and Olivia Thorvaldson both alternated dancing the character of Emily Carr, and Woo her pet monkey. I decided to photograph them in my studio and asked them to bring period clothing. I was astounded how, as soon as she had changed into the clothing, Marthe (bottom, right) seemed to have slipped into the present from Emily Carr's past. In a short chat I found out that Marthe was from Quebec and that she had danced for a short period for Ballet BC. I decided I wanted to photograph her again and she consented to return to my studio. In this portrait of Marth (above, left) I simply said that it was a pity the feet were so far from the face. "That's easy to remedy, " Marth told me. My Argentine tango teacher, Carlos Loyola gave her a couple of classes and he could not believe how quickly she caught on. I saw her dance the tango wearing fishnets and I can assure you she could have put many Argentine female dancers to shame. A couple of years later I found out Marthe mawent back to Montreal and I have not heard from her since.


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