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Lucy Gray

Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers

Ballet has always been an escape from reality. A fantasy world of elongated arabesques and gravity defying jetés, of mythical nymphs and jealous lovers, a world suspended in disbelief. With her latest project, award winning photographer, Lucy Gray, follows three Prima Ballerinas on a fourteen year journey on the most wonderful ballet of all — motherhood. Bridging onstage reveries with the real life journeys of prima-ballerinas, Kristin Long, Tina LeBlanc, and Katita Waldo. Her new book, Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers is a beautiful manifesto to motherhood and the enduring dance that we call life.

Lucy Gray’s photographic work has been featured in The New York Times, and Dance Magazine. Her latest book -Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers, published by Princeton Architectural Press, and with a  foreword by New Yorker critic Hilton Als, follows the three prima ballerinas take the biggest risk of their professional dancing careers — to become mothers. We follow Lucy Gray on this unforgettable fourteen year journey, filled with intimate moments backstage, and an introspective look at the lives of these ballerinas and their families. Giving the audience rare insight into the human lives behind their perfect performances onstage.

With over one hundred stunning black-and-white photographs, Lucy Gray documents the daily challenges that these dancers have had to face upon embracing motherhood. Ballet is undeniably one of the most mentally and physically demanding professions in the world, requiring dancers to not only push one’s limits physically, but also demanding that they bare themselves emotionally onstage. To juxtapose this delicate craft with what we consider the realities of motherhood, of giving birth and raising children, and creating a loving and nurturing home environment, Lucy Gray successfully tackles one of the most important myths of today — that success and motherhood don’t grapple against each other, but instead go hand-in-hand.



Words by Hannah Tan