Lonely Planet Writer

See incredible photos of ballet dancers pirouetting on the streets of Mexico, Cuba and New York

One photographer is on a mission to capture dancers in urban streetscapes around the world and is just back from an incredible photo-shoot on the streets of Mexico City.

Sebastián Villarini & Mimi Staker @sebseb_93 • @missssmimi #OZR_Dance • #XT2

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on Sep 10, 2016 at 9:09am PDT

Omar Z Robles first began his ballet street photography using New York City as a backdrop, enjoying the juxtaposition of “the clean lines of dancers against rugged city landscapes”. The result is a striking and unique angle on traditional street photography.

Recently, Omar travelled to Mexico on a mission to capture the beauty of the country and its people. As well as a host of talented, local dancers, he also found an enraptured audience. Often when shooting in NYC, he would be met with cynicism or just plain indifference but Mexican passersby stopped to watch.

Greta Elizondo @gretaelizondo #OZR_Dance | #🇲🇽💃| in collaboration with @fujifilmx_us #💃🌧

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on Nov 5, 2016 at 7:27am PDT

Most would stand and look on with curiosity but some “clapped and cheered the dancers after we were finished shooting at a location”, Omar says. “Folks seemed genuinely thankful to have been able to partake of a different experience. It was not about being impressed by the dancers’ abilities, it was genuine gratitude for breaking their routine and offering a minute or two of the unexpected”

Mayuko Nihei @mayuko_n_ #OZR_Dance | #🇲🇽💃| in collaboration with @fujifilmx_us

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on Nov 3, 2016 at 12:05pm PDT

Earlier in the year, Omar visited Cuba to photograph one of the world’s top ranked ballet companies. Their spectacular grace is something he credits to their heritage, their endurance and their Russian school of training.

Keyvin Martínez #OZR_Dance || #🇨🇺💃|| #Cuba

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on Mar 24, 2016 at 5:58pm PDT

Ballet is extremely popular in Cuba and has a huge following as the government funds both the ballet school and subsidised performance tickets.

Daniela Fabelo & Daniela Cabrera #OZR_Dance || #🇨🇺💃|| #Cuba

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on Mar 25, 2016 at 5:57pm PDT

What’s next for Omar and his ballet street photography? He wants to continue travelling the world to photograph dancers and has a wishlist in mind. He told Lonely Planet about the “great history of dance and culture in Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina” and how he would like to return to France where he studied as an artist. He also wants to travel to “India because of the traditional dance forms”.

“Hot” off the press, this afternoon with Brittany Cavaco @theballerina #OZR_Dance || #ColdWontStoptheDance

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on Feb 15, 2016 at 5:34pm PST