November 17th, 2010 permalink
In the dark of night, the sound of wings moving through the air filled the sky. The dancers arrived dressed in their finery. The ducks on the millpond don’t give much thought to their ability to fly. They just do it. Most of us humans, however, wish we could ascend with such ease.
I started Paradux because of one photograph I took of a duck with its wings extended as it took flight. There are now about thirty duck flight photos on this site, and I’m still enthralled by the movements, patterns, and colors. Maybe I’ll do a sequel in the months ahead, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough for a while. So the curtain comes down on Paradux. Drive home safely.
November 11th, 2010 permalink
The ducks in the Corps de Ballet have worked diligently and it shows as the finale begins for Paradux. It’s amazing what you can get these troopers to do with Photoshop and a couple of handfuls of duck chow, don’t you think? They’ve sure shown off their costumes to their greatest advantage. Meanwhile, as the choreographer, I’m still not sure how to bring this performance to closure. Enjoy these performers until I figure out the final splash in the finale, topping these showstoppers.
November 7th, 2010 permalink
As “Paradux,” the duck ballet I’ve been staging, nears the final curtain, the danseur noble bounds onto the stage and mesmerizes the assembled masses with leaps and daring feats. There are times the audience forgets he’s just a duck. Isn’t that the purpose of art, to transcend something? Anything? Well, this duck has my total admiration.
As the audience catches its breathe following his performance, a member of the Corps de Ballet launches a hypnotic and sensuous flapping of wings unlike anything anyone has ever seen. Gone is the duck as it transforms itself into something more, something beyond our imaginations. Ah, the troupe is doing exceptionally well tonight.
November 2nd, 2010 permalink
The strength of some of my performing ducks really came to the foreground during the wind storm. It was aerial ballet at its best as ducks took off and landed during a recent performance above the millpond. The glitter in the background (above) is from street light reflections in the water. Wish I could say I planned that visual effect. How to end this extraganza? I think I’ve beaten this Paradux dead horse long enough. Too bad I haven’t determined a finale yet. Hmmm. I’ll have to see what my dancers are willing to do for their meager duck chow handouts.
October 27th, 2010 permalink
Just look at the wings on this starlett as she enters the stage. Ain’t she a showstopper? Download the larger picture to see this very crisp photo of all the patterns on her costume in great theatrical lighting. Read more about Paradux here.
October 24th, 2010 permalink
As the choreographer for Paradux, I have to be ruthless to guarantee the troupe’s performances reach the level of “art” instead of just a flock of ducks waddling around the stage. So when overweight ducks with no sense of rhythm (like the one above) attend try-outs, I send them packing. I’m sure some feelings have been hurt, but if they don’t have chops, they don’t have chops.
But other ducks arrive with special talents. One was able to high kick while hanging on the edge of the stage by only two claws (right). You don’t see that everyday! Click the image to see it larger.
October 17th, 2010 permalink
Okay, I’ll admit it. Trying to teach ducks ballet is not easy. It’s almost thankless, too. They quack at inopportune moments and have extremely short attention spans. But all of the trials and tribulations I face as the choreographer of Paradux disappear when surprising moments happen during performances.
These two photographs record two recent occurrences. Click them to see larger versions for their full impact. Note how the ducks have transcended their duckness. For a fraction of a second, they enter a purely visual realm of light, color, and enchantment. I try to remember these magical instances during rehearsals when a member of the corps de ballet poops on the sidewalk.
October 16th, 2010 permalink
How can two webbed feet turn the entire wake following this duck (below) bright orange? See Paradux: A Work in Progress for more details about this series.
October 12th, 2010 permalink
The millpond ducks are doing well as participants in my latest venture in choreography. The top one seems to have special talents. He’s helped reduce the cost of the show’s production by making his own costume. He cleans it all by himself, too. The other duck (below) doesn’t have the same on-stage charisma. He’ll make a good understudy but his costume’s too corporate. It needs some flare. See Paradux: A Work in Progress for details about this series.
October 5th, 2010 permalink
The flash from my camera and the splash of the water refracts the light and colors turning this photograph into a painting. The ducks position isn’t graceful, but somehow it doesn’t matter. See Paradux: A Work in Progress for details about this series.
October 2nd, 2010 permalink
From: Paradux: A Work in Progress. Click both pictures to see larger images of the whole ducks.
September 27th, 2010 permalink
See Paradux: A Work in Progress for information about this series. As usual, clicking any image at Words4It loads a larger version with more detail. I recommend it. If you click on the image (below), you’ll see the whole duck and might see a Picasso-like head of a goat. Honest. :-)
September 22nd, 2010 permalink
As Monty Python would say, “And now for something completely different ….”
Beyond quacking, swimming, and chasing each other, ducks sit most of the day. At the millpond, however, their sitting is punctuated by mad dashes into the pond to avoid pesky humans.
From the edge of the pond, they leap, take a couple of wing flaps, then land in the water. Until this past week, I hadn’t given these “flight responses” much attention, but now I’m photographing them.
While ducks don’t know squat about ballet, some of their movements rival those of dancers. I’m starting a new series of these short airborne events titled, “Paradux.” Expect many of the shots to be imperfect and blurry, but I think you’ll find the movements lyrical as well as theatrical. Nice costumes, too.