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Mary McCartney

Off Pointe: A Photographic Study of the Royal Ballet After Hours

3 May-17 June 2007


Online gallery


Click on the thumbnails to enlarge and see the full image. Please do contact us if you are interested in purchasing any of these works – price details are included with the enlargement. Please note prices are subject to change dependent on works sold – please check with gallery to confirm prices.


Ballerina in Sink, 2004 xx Interval, 2004 Backstage Two, 2004 Josh Made Up, 2004 Kitchen Feet, 2004 Pointe Shoes and Tampax, 2004
Lone Dancer, 2004 Clipping Suspenders, 2004 Hug Backstage, 2004 Bath Feet, 2004 Bath Two, 2004 Lighting Up, 2004 Bottoms, 2004
Backstage One, 2004 Cinderella Converse, 2004 Nessy, 2004 ...and Relax, 2004 Laughing Ladies, 2004 Morning, 2004 Tired Smile, 2004
Profile, 2004 Snacking, 2004 Three Ballerinas, 2004 Pointe Feet, 2004 Plastic Bags & Bouquets, 2004


Crane Kalman Brighton is pleased to present the first gallery showing of 'Off Pointe – A Photographic Study of The Royal Ballet After Hours' by Mary McCartney. This stunning series of black & white photographs reveal an unseen aspect of the world of ballet captured through the eyes of a curious spectator.


These intimate and insightful images show both the ups-and-downs, the prestige and the chaos of life behind-the-scenes at the Royal Ballet, and the contrast between the sometimes gruelling, painful lifestyle of the dancers and their fairy tale performances.


Many of the shots show unexpected contradictions: a muscular male ballet dancer having a cigarette between acts; naked ballerinas drinking coke in their dressing room at the Opera House; and a dancer eating an over-stuffed bagel after a night of clubbing. The photographs dispel many a myth about the life of the dancers and show that the dancers work hard, but play hard too.


Explaining about her experience with the company, McCartney says "I was extremely fortunate to get a glimpse of the blood, sweat, tears and laughter that make up a Royal Ballet tour. I have shot portraits of musical figures my entire career but this was a very different and moving experience".


The images produced manage to portray both the harsh realities of working in such a demanding profession with the storybook glamour that the ballet also provides. This rare glimpse into the lives of dancers highlights the exhausting realities and the fairytale performances they face.


This series has been touted as McCartney's coming-of-age work, despite her long-standing career in photography. Inspired by her mother Linda McCartney, who was never without a camera, Mary McCartney started off as a photo-editor for music book publisher Omnibus Press. Since then, she has become a renowned portrait and fashion photographer.


'Off Pointe – A Photographic Study of The Royal Ballet After Hours' by Mary McCartney runs at Crane Kalman Brighton from 3rd May to 17th June. For any further information or imagery, please contact Richard Kalman on 01273 697096 or



Olympus are delighted to sponsor 'Off Pointe – A Photographic Study of The Royal Ballet After Hours'



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