Photographing Poppin’ Pete at BoxPark

Poppin' Pete posing at Boxpark, (c) Carole Edrich 2013

Poppin’ Pete posing at Boxpark, (c) Carole Edrich 2013

A couple of days ago I went to interview and take photographs of Poppin’ Pete who has been giving poppin’ workshops in the Pop-Up shop in BoxPark, Shoreditch. Because it was constrained by the size of the container of the Pop-Up shop, the workshops are a lovely size, enabling Poppin’ Pete to give individual attention to everyone in the workshop (although I’m sure he gives such attention to everyone).

He’s an impressive man, not just because he interviews well or because he’s accustomed to being photographed, nor for the dancing for which he’s justly renown, but because of the flexible way he builds a workshop, his attention to detail and the clarity with which he explains basic techniques. Watching him at work made me want to go and take private lessons with him back at his home base. That has never happened before.

I interviewed him on a number of topics, including dance tips and for my ‘first and last’ book (when I know what Dance Today will use I’ll post the rest of the interviews here) and took photos of him both giving workshops and dancing on his own. To bring a bit of variety to the book I concentrated on shooting his upper body and expressions as he danced. In terms of composition I’m very happy with the results and I have a better idea of how long it’s going to take to shoot and record all the other dancers I need for my book.