by Dora Leticia Martinez
LE: Somehow, your path as dancers has led you to photography. I can see how this might’ve come to be. There is a play of light and shadows in photography, a dance, so to speak. When in the midst of such dances, such wonderful forms of expression, both in photography and in dance…how does the feeling compare?
Pierre Henrion: I think, when dancing, the action comes from ourselves. We’re expressing the way we feel through movement. But when taking a picture, we try to captivate something exterior. Feelings from other people, atmospheres from outside. But, to take pictures of people’s faces does release feelings in the photographer.
Erick Odriozola: As a dancer one does what a choreographer wants. He leads you the way to obtain a result as close as possible to what he wants. Sometimes you share it, but sometimes not. But, as a photographer, your vision is the result.
LE: Styles tend to develop early on in age, even unbeknownst to us. As a child, were there any interests or oddities that helped you explore different forms of expression?
Pierre Henrion: I started to dance very early and that was my main way of expressing myself. But, playing, I used to take out all my toys; play mobils, legos, dolls,… and I used to set them all up and after, I put everything away. I just created images and broke them down again to make a new one.
Erick Odriozola: I had a very imaginative world. I used to dress up and I created my very own universe. And I always used to visualize the smallest details of things. Since I was very little, I used to touch differents things, artistically, until finding my own way of expressing myself.
LE: Do you inspire each other? You work as a team, but, what sets you apart?
Pierre Henrion: We met dancing in a company in San Sebastian. We began taking pictures. And we’ve done it together since. I think, that the people around us inspire us very much. Some more than others, obviously. But, to me faces are a big form of inspiration. They can tell so much, doing nothing. Besides that, there are just moments or places that make you feel in a particular way or mood that can inspire one very much.
Erick Odriozola: In general, my sources of inspiration are very similar to Pierre’s. As an answer to the last question. We’re very different as people, we’re like black and white. There’s an expression, but I only know it in Spanish; “los polos opuestos se atraen”. And, I suppose, that in our photos you can see each one of us and the fact that two personalities that different from each other come together.
LE: Will dance and photography continue to be your outlets for artistic expression?
Pierre Henrion: Let’s hope so. It’s definitely easier to keep on taking pictures than keep on dancing. It’s a very hard world and well, at some point our bodies will let us down. But photography got his way in our lives and I don’t think it will leave that easily.
Erick Odriozola: In my life as a dancer, I’m arriving to a more adult place. As a photographer, I’m only beginning.
LE: Do you see yourselves incorporating the two (dance and photography), perhaps in creating something totally new?
Pierre Henrion: That does sound interesting, but I haven’t thought about it yet. We have taken dance pictures before, but that’s nothing new.
Erick Odriozola: I hope that someday I’ll be able to bring the two together and make something totally new and unexperienced of it.
LE: When creativity is ﬂowing…tell us something about that. What makes it work for you?
Pierre Henrion: Nothing special, I’m afraid. It’s just about moments, when everything seems right and a very beautiful image is the result.
Erick Odriozola: Sometimes, you have an image in your mind and you’ll try to look for it. Sometimes, you’ll obtain that result, but sometimes you get to something else on the way.
LE: Your work is very sensual, do you ﬁnd yourself drawn to subjects with great ﬂexibility as is reﬂected in your photographs of dancers, or, is this just a natural transition from dance to photography as you are dancers yourself?
Pierre Henrion: When it comes to photographing bodies and creating something sensual I look more for beauty in those bodies then flexibility.
Erick Odriozola: Every body has his own quality. But, I guess we’re used to taking pictures of dancers. We haven’t really had the oppurtunity to work with other subjects.
LE: Is there any visual artist or dancer that you feel you can most relate to?
Pierre Henrion: I’m a big admirer of Annie Leibowitz’ work. I love the way she sets up a whole bunch of people and creates very strong images with them. But I’m not sure that “relate” is the right word here. I’m also very fond of Ruven Afanador and Bruce Weber. As a dancer I’m discovering lots of new things, but I guess the atmospheres Pina Baush was able to create are worlds I feel a lot of relation to.
LE: Couples who have worked together in the past, have included Manuel Alvarez Bravo & Lola Bravo, Diane Arbus and Allan Arbus, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo just to name a few. Artistically speaking, if you were Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, which one of you would be Frida?
Pierre Henrion: Me