Nat Tileston’s STILL DANCE exhibition of black and white photos taken in New York City during the 1970s drew a steady stream of people during its run at Lucky Rabbit House in mid August. The show was so successful that the original run from August 13 to August 19 was extended to September 5.
Before the predominance of video, film and dance photography where the essential ways to record the agility and artistry of dance. Nat covered many of the dance greats working in NYC during that seminal decade including Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp and Trisha Brown.
Raised in Chicago, Nat studied at Lawrence University, Wisconsin and later at the Art Institute in Chicago. In 1970 he moved to NYC to work with legendary dance and theatre photographer Martha Swope, In 1976 he began photographing dance for the “Soho Weekly News” where his images were seen with theatre and performance reviews by William Harris and and Wendy Perron. His work was profiled in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM )1979 exhibition, “Inside Spaces” – an exhibition of approximately 30 projects for defining space, by artists from various disciplines. His photographs have also been featured internationally at various galleries and institutions including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC and the International Centre for the Arts in London, England.
In 1991, Nat partnered with American dance critic Marcia B. Siegel on “The Tail of the Dragon”. The book tracked the evolution of “new dance” in New York throughout the key transitional period from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. Nat remembers that time fondly. “During a rehearsal, a dancer friend said to me ‘You can’t count, can you?’ My answer: ‘I can’t count but I can see’.”
Nat is now based in Nova Scotia where, as part of his busy life, he is a member of Company of Angels. He continues to work in photography and spends half the year in Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam where, with his wife Susan he runs photo workshops for youth and displaced ethnic groups through My Story Photo Project.