MAYOTTIAN DANCERS AT THE STADE, HASTINGS
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.