An Invitation to Walk and Dance

Nightjar was recently responsible for taking the photographs of a play put on by a local theatre group. The pictures are a departure from Nightjar’s usual style of photography and I think they’re fabulous. They’re storytelling photos that give a real sense of the mood and setting for the play. We’ll be sharing them over the next 3 days and I know you’ll enjoy them, too. I’ll let Nightjar take it from here:

As you may know I was recently responsible for the photography of a theatre play created by the local amateur theatre group. I will not be sharing photos of the actors, but I’ve selected 12 other photos to give you all a taste of what it was like! I divided them in three parts and added some context. I hope you enjoy!


Part 1 – An Invite to Walk and to Dance

The play starts in the village’s fountain with a short scene where the public is invited to walk along streets they walk along everyday. The actress is barefoot through most of the scene and walks the shoes you see here with her hands. She introduces five guides and tells the audience which one to follow. Each group will walk down a different path, but they will all see the same scenes (just in a different order). Before leaving the public is left with a question… can this familiar place still surprise or move us?

(photo 1)  ©Nightjar, all rights reserved

Perhaps the biggest surprise comes when the public is guided into a private property few have entered before. After walking through a bit of the garden of the village’s only mansion (no one lives there now, the owners are trying to sell it but were kind enough to lend us the keys), they arrive at this arch and find a closet under it. A closet of memories.

(photo 2) ©Nightjar, all rights reserved


Two actresses will appear from behind the closet and uncover the memories kept there. On the left, apparel used in Midsummer Festivities from past years. Those are celebrated in Portugal with big parades, in which villages compete between each other with their singing, dancing, choreography and apparel. As expected, just whispering the tune of our village’s song was enough to get some of the public singing along and dancing. On the right, scripts of old theatre plays will remind people of how old our theatre tradition is. An actress known and dear to everyone will help bringing back some memories as she shares photographs of her younger self on stage, acting.

(photo 3) ©Nightjar, all rights reserved


The image below is from the last scene and gets back to the subject of walking. And dancing. All five groups are back together because all paths converge here. The play closes with the actors dancing with each other for a while, then they leave their partners and start inviting people from the audience. By the end almost everyone is dancing. Not me! (Although in one of the rehearsals someone decided to pull me in as I protested and yelled “but what about the photos!”).

(photo 4) ©Nightjar, all rights reserved



  1. says

    Oh that sounds like such a wonderful idea. I envy you the possibility to have been there (and part of it. I would merely have been a tourist)

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Sounds like fun. I’m eager to see more.

    Musicians are often unwilling to dance. Maybe the same would apply photographers at times.

  3. Nightjar says

    It was fun! I should mention that the reason this was not chaotic was because each ticket had one of five symbols matching the ones on the guide’s T-shirts, so it was really simple to organize the groups.

    Ice Swimmer,
    Maybe. I don’t dance very well and it’s not something I enjoy doing. The last scene was lovely, though, and I forgot to mention one detail: the music was coming from a moving carousel! We only realized a carousel had settled right next to the last scene’s setting during the very last rehearsal. I saw exasperation on the director’s face, but in the end she somehow got the carousel’s owners to participate too. :D

  4. dakotagreasemonkey says

    That sounds just so Impromptu wonderful!! Wish I had been there. Traditions can be astonishingly beautiful.

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