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Grace in motion

Watching a ballerina in motion as she waves her graceful arms and extends her long legs can be really beautiful. Capturing those fluid movements in a photograph can also be artful.

Photographer Mark Sadan's exhibit at the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame titled \The Young Dancer captures the art and grace of the young ballerina Laura. (Laura and her family requested that her last name not be used).

Sadan said he was once described as Degas with a camera. The museum's bio notes that he is known for his creative photography in dance.

His pictures have been published in USA in Dance Magazine, American Photography, Popular Photography and The New York Times.

Sadan met Laura, who is from Ballston Lake, when he was working on another project at the museum. She was taking classes there and went to a casting call for Sadan's models. Sadan said the minute he saw her he knew he wanted to photograph her.

"She looked like a dancer," Sadan said by phone. "She was only 11, but she was already really long-legged and she had a natural ability. She exuded a kind of special quality."

Acting Director of the Museum Beth Hartle said, "Laura represents what all young ballet dancers are at her age, with her dreams and youth."

Sadan spent almost three years taking pictures of Laura as she grew, both in inches and in dancing ability. Sadan said she grew almost 5 inches in that time and began dancing with toe shoes.

Sadan lives near New York City, but enjoys coming to Saratoga to work because of its unique dance culture. He said Saratoga has a great tradition not only of horses, but of dance because of the renowned choreographer George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet performing at SPAC every summer and the National Museum of Dance

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