I met Ida while I was dancing for Ballett Theater München. It was my first job in Europe and I was in observation mode. I have a special place in my heart for photography, as I used to take a lot of photos in NYC. I guess I can be kind of a gadget freak sometimes… I spotted Ida’s equipment right away, and I couldn’t resist asking her about her camera. Ida is very friendly and easy to get along with. She was a “mama” before she was a mother. Ida was always good for a few positive words, especially to the young dancers. She has a great energy and you can see she loves to laugh!
Ida was a former dancer in the company, that transitioned to company photographer. This, of course, made her very valuable because she knows the theater, the system and the people. Sure, Ida was lucky to transition in that way, but the company was also lucky to have Ida. I never saw her walk into the room. I would be in the rehearsal and next thing I know, she would be there with her camera quietly moving through the studio. She was smooth. She knew exactly where to position herself to catch a great picture. She could also be more daring in the studio than other photographers because of her long relationship with the company and her dancer flexibility. On top of all of this, she has a natural eye for beautiful moments to capture, and a dancers timing. That year she took some really great photos. It was the last season of Phillip Taylor as director and Ida made it special.
Born in Italy, Ida Zenna lives in Berlin and Leipzig. Ida trained at the Academie Princesse Grace, in Montercarlo and had a great career as a dancer. From 2003 to 2010, Ida was the in house photographer at Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, Germany. From 2011 to 2014, Ida was the main photographer for Tanz Luzerner Theater in Switzerland and currently is house photographer of the Leipziger Ballet. Her photographs have also been part of various stage designs and lighting concepts such as ” TANZ#12 : Of Waiting and Wandering” at the Luzerner Theater, “Contes d´amor” Choreographie Cayetano Soto für das balletttheatermünchen at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz and “Ein Neuer Sommernachtstraum” by Annett Göhre und Cayetano Soto für das Ballett des Staatstheater Schwerin.
I am a proud owner of a few photos. I have kept in touch and followed her success throughout the years. Her work is even more beautiful than ever. It is interesting to watch her growth as a photographer and artist. As I come close to my 31st birthday, I find myself often thinking about what I will do when I stop dancing. I know I still have time time. Artists like Ida remind me that there can be art after dance.
Ida was one of the first interviews I collected when the Interview En L’air series was still taking it’s shape. She believed in this series when I had only a handful of interviews. These “first interviews” are the people who gave me the confidence and courage to go forward with an idea that sounded ambitious and crazy. Thank you Ida for believing in me and thank you Ida for your inspiration.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always want to do what you’re doing now?
Of course the most beautiful dancer!!! My dream was to dance Romeo and Juliet. In my fantasy, I am flying on the stage in my amazing dress, feeling a strong love for my Romeo, who was giving me the power to dance … a quite girly dream, no? Of course in my dream, I was the best, the most beautiful dancer on that planet!!! Slowly and luckily reality brought my feet to the ground and I started to realize how ballet life works!
Did you always want to do what you’re doing now?
Well, what I always wanted to do was dance on stage. When dance became my profession and I was in the middle of my career, I had in the back of my head, a feeling that my life as an artist would turn into something visual. I started to think about my future without being on stage (I didn’t want to get to that point and be unprepared!) and I could very well imagine myself taking part in what was going on on-stage from another prospective. I got to the point that when I photograph a production, whether it’s ballet or opera or a concert, I want to live it and interpret it according to my vision. I am part of it in a very strong way and I try to make it my own.
Ida’s Favorite things
“The Kite Runner” / Khaled Hosseini
“Central do Brasil”(Central Station) / Walter Salles
“ If To Leave Is To Remember” / Carolyn Carlson
I like dancers who…
…are not afraid to show themselves for what they are. Who are not afraid to show their personality, their brain, and questions themselves. Dancers who have 360 degree interests without being shut in their own ballet world. Dancers who do not allow themselves to be crushed but at the same time have humility. I am interested in the human being, in the artist who hides in the form of a dancer.
I am Afraid of…
Something you like to do other than dance?
One of the the happiest moments in your life?
For sure when my son was born.
One of the most embarrassing moments in your career?
I deleted them all!!!!
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
In bad and good, definitively M.me Marika Besobrasova
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In a car and my son is driving me around!
Three words to describe yourself…
Idealist, dreamer, workaholic
A question you want to know the answer to?
No question. I am too afraid to get a bad answer!
Dear aspiring artists,
The life of a dancer is terribly short. Prepare your body and your technique intelligently and effectively. Dance on stage with your soul, being 100% sure that your body knows what it has to do. Do not try to be liked by all, believe and be honest with yourself. At the end of the day I continue to believe that it is never crazy to chase a dream, but it IS crazy to abandon it.
Anything else you would like to mention?
I have photographed the world of dance and opera for almost 10 years. Like any artist who continues to question themselves, I am changing my way of expression. I am still in search of human contact and synergies. My way of expression is constantly evolving and I am happy about that.
When I was working for ballettheater münchen, I had the great opportunity to discover and try out many things. This was one of the shoot for the poster motive of “Rhapsody in blue” choreography Philip Taylor. We worked with projections on the body and we had a lot of fun!
This photo was taken recently with Tanz Luzerner Theater. Stijn Celis created ” Sleeping Beauty” and this is one of my favorite shoot. not just because is quite spectacular, but because it gives to me a sense of freedom, lightness and strong in the same time, exactly how the role of Aurora is, for me
In 2011 I was part of Tanz Jahrbuch with my work. I was really honored for that.
I like to create new setting using different images. This work was created in a very intense moment of my life.
Main photo : © Ida Zenna – A work based on 2 pictures taken with Tanz Luzerner Theater. Cayetano Soto was creating ” Yet to tell” and this is Ida’s interpretation of it.
Nadja Kadel, Artist Management www.nadjakadel.de
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