On January 19, 2007  I was privileged to accept an invitation to photograph three live performances of Luis Bravo's Forever Tango held on January 20th and the 21st at the Post Street Theatre in San Francisco. These performances presented my first opportunity to shoot a live professional dance and musical troupe. One of the shows included the final performance of their San Francisco tour which provided an added emotion for all of the artists. 1 personally feel my best efforts occurred during the final performance and were a result of the highly charged emotion of that show.

 

The images in this book include the musicians who are in many respects the stars of the performance. For Luis, the music is the focal point of his creation and the dance, although an exquisite part of the performance serves to enhance the music. I have also captured some of the practice sessions between performances as well as some of Mr. Bravo's family members who travel with the show. These are moments we the public seldom see, but for me are glimpses as beautiful as the dance and music.

 

When 1 arrived at the theatre to introduce myself to Luis, he was in the stage office reviewing some paperwork. I introduced myself and handed him my first book, 'Moments of Humanity' as Roxanne, the General Manager of the theatre had suggested. Luis briefly flipped through my book and then said, 'Mark, go wherever you want and shoot whatever you want including the dressing areas.' His faith in my work is something I will always remember. Yet even before meeting him, my dear friend Roxanne expressed her support by asking Luis if I could photograph his art which initiated this project.

 

As I began to photograph the musicians, dancers, singers and family members I became mesmerized by the talent, dedication and power of their performing art. The passion which each individual collectively and individually contribute to their performance was both inspirational and intoxicating. I found with each musical note, with each dancer's movement and with the camaraderie among the cast and crew my own passion to capture their art grew beyond my expectations. I wanted to present my best, as each member of Forever Tango was presenting their best.  I grew as passionate about my own performance as they were about their art. I too was swept away in moments of passion.

 

This book is dedicated to my daughter Nori whose work in stage management is an inspiration to me. To my friend Roxanne Goodfellow whose faith in my work made this book possible. And finally to Luis Bravo for allowing me the privilege of photographing his creation, his family and his art.

 

Mark Kitaoka