Johan Persson

Johan Persson, specializing in ballet, studio portraiture, dance and theatre photography

Swedish born Johan Persson was a principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet before becoming a photographer. Ironically it was an enforced rest necessitated by a chronic injury that gave Persson the opportunity to return to his other great passion – photography.

“I love the whole magic of it,” he says, “capturing a moment that tells an entire story.”

Johan specialises in portraiture and promotional and production photography for live theatre. His extensive client list includes leading West End producers, theatre and dance institutions in the United Kingdom. He has also exhibited at Westminster, The Riverside Gallery (Richmond), the Mikimoto (Japan), as well as solo exhibitions at The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), The Donmar Warehouse and Sheffield Theatres.

His books include The Royal Ballet: 161 images, Pas De Deux: The Royal Ballet in Pictures, Garsington Opera: a celebration and A Decade at the Donmar: 2002 - 2012.

"Capturing dance motion in a photograph is easy now but capturing the decisive moment of drama or grace that brings dance it’s power as a theatrical experience is quite another. Persson’s best pictures have a raw, artless truth that is rarely found in the perfect formality of much dance photography" (Ismene Brown, Daily Telegraph)

View all images by Johan Persson