Hastings Stade events - portrait of a Mayottian dancer

I was commissioned by events company 18Hours to photograph a group of Mayottian dancers on the stade at Hastings seafront…

The stade open space is no more than ten minutes walk for me and to have free reign over the stage and crowd to record the event was right up my street.

Following the dancers was reggae band Gabbidon from Birmingham. I had time before the gig to take a few portraits in the Stade Hall where the dancers where getting ready. I speak passable french so was able engage in a little banter before the gig! As the performance got going, the setting sun and ever increasing crowd numbers made for a great atmosphere. To begin with, the space in front of the stage was empty but gradually people got up and danced and by the time Gabbidon were in full flow, there was no space left.

As night fell I used a couple of flashes on remote radio triggers to light up the band – the white marquee was perfect for casting shadows of the band members and instruments.

It was lovely see the cultural mix of Hastings locals appreciating the traditional dance of people from the Indian Ocean and then really moving to some Reggae.

Hastings Stade events - portrait of a Mayottian dancer

Hastings Stade events - cancers on stage

Hastings Stade events - dancer and crowd

Hastings Stade events - crowd on the stade

Hastings Stade events - dancer on the stage

Dancers on the stage at the Hastings open space

Hastings Stade events - dancers in line on the stage

little girl dancing in front of stage

Mayottian Dancers in Hastings

Hastings Stade events - little girl dancing with woman

Hastings Stade events - man clicking fingers

Hastings Stade events - crowd clapping

Hastings Stade events - Gabbidon on stage

Hastings Stade events - Gabbidon band guitarist

Crowd watching Gabbidon on stage in Hastings

Hastings Stade events - Gabbidon final track