Today we’d like to introduce you to Oliver Endahl.
Oliver, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I have many artistic ventures in multiple mediums, but my main project is “Ballet Zaida.” It is an ongoing fine art project showcasing photos and videos of the best and most interesting dancers in the industry.
Before starting Ballet Zaida, I personally danced ballet for over a decade. The world of ballet is extremely unique and tight-knit. Having first-hand experience of what dancers go through on a daily basis has helped me craft and guide the project over the years.
I was an early adaptor to Instagram, and one of the original dance photography accounts to gain popularity on the network. One of the reasons the project took off was because I was familiar with the proper lines and technique of ballet.
Now, almost ten years into the project, Ballet Zaida is internationally recognized in the dance world, the photos have been featured in numerous publications, I’ve shot and collaborated with a variety of major brands, and the project has received multiple accolades.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I create dance photos and dance films that are featured through social media. All of the content is featured on my @BalletZaida Instagram account.
Before I started Ballet Zaida, the world hadn’t seen ballet photography that showcased vivid whimsical imagery with a base of the proper lines and aesthetics of the art. Ballet dancers train for decades to perfect this technique, so getting it right in photos is important.
The photos of Ballet Zaida have been described as “Invoking the feeling of dance itself.” I find this review satisfying because I am trying to share the joy of ballet with those who have never experienced it.
One of the reasons I started Ballet Zaida was to show the world what ballet truly is.
Most people have never attended a ballet performance and don’t know a lot about the industry. I hope to educate the public, make them aware of ballet, and show what the art form has to offer.
The message of my art constantly changes and evolves. It’s different now than when I started almost a decade ago, and it will be different in the years to come. At this very moment, I am inspired most by color. I also am drawn to creating short films that address various social and political topics.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
The answer differs depending on your artistic medium and what you want to achieve.
In general, though, the most common thing I see is that artists have a hard time figuring out what the road to success is. When you work in an office environment, you are presented with specific tasks that you can accomplish. There is a clearly paved road that if you follow you will see growth and success. As an artist, you have to create and pave your own road.
A lot of artists wait around for someone to present them with an opportunity, and that isn’t how it works. You have to create your own opportunities. Either by knocking on doors until someone eventually gives you a chance or by relentlessly promoting yourself. You have to constantly create and constantly promote.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can view my work on Instagram @BalletZaida.
The best way to support all artists on social media is to like the content, comment your feelings, and to share with your own network of people.
Deanna Reeves & Nicole Voris.
Richard and Ashlee.