The work I’ve done over many years photographing athletes and dancers could easily be seen as parallel projects, since athletes and dancers share so many characteristics and have lives full of very similar demands.

A fine example is dancer Vernard Gilmore, who came to my studio recently for my MODERN/modern Dance project. Gilmore has been with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company for 20 years. He is a beautiful dancer who blends physically powerful movement with a seemingly effortless grace.

After studying as a scholarship student at The Ailey School, Gilmore joined the company in 1997. In 2010, he performed at the White House Dance Series. In addition to his work as a dancer, Mr. Gilmore is a choreographer whose work has been a part of the Ailey Dancers Resource Fund, the Fire Island Dance Festival in 2008, and the Jazz Foundation of America Gala in 2010. Nimbus Dance Works will also perform a new work by Gilmore later this year. As a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® instructor, He teaches workshops and master classes around the world.

We worked together to express through the camera his wonderful abilities. After our day of shooting, I decided to use some of the images to create sculptural forms.

I am fully aware that this idea has been explored by others, often very well, but I also know that any “borrowing” of an idea carries the possibility of discovering new and wonderful ways of seeing.

Vernard was marvelously inventive during this session; an ideal collaborator and excitingly original.