Dancers and Dogs by Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich. Printed by Versa Press. 2019 $49.95. ISBN 978-0-578-22431-2
Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich are dance photographers and were inspired to combine dogs and dancers, visiting ten cities, and recruiting 100 dancers and 100 dogs to create this coffee table book, just in time for the holidays. The book is absolutely gorgeous and it’s easy to look at each photo many times, appreciating the elegance of line, the strength of the dancers, and their smiles as they interact with dogs.
There are photos of dogs jumping through hoops, dogs on leads, dogs joining the dancers for a canine/human pas de deux. Some of the images are just pure beauty and some have an element of humor, such as the picture of dancer Brenna Houseman of the Saint Louis Ballet, wearing just one toe shoe as Trevor, the Labrador Retriever walks away with the other shoe. Poppy the Basset sits on her haunches, back-to-back with a dancer, and then looks soulfully between the feet of a dancer in the second position.
Some leaps by the dancers are so incredible you wonder what happened after the photo was taken. Dustin Crumbaugh with the Big Muddy Dance Company is shown parallel to the floor and it’s hard to image how he got his feet under him before landing flat.
Some of the dancers brought their own dogs to the photo sessions. Sarah Lane of the American ballet Theatre, brought Maya, a Shih Tzu, and Cora, who she calls a Shiffon. Judging by the photos, that’s a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Brussels Griffon.
Breeds of dogs include mixed breeds as well as a Dachshund, pit bulls, a Tibetan Mastiff, Border Collies, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and standard Poodles. While a couple of the dogs appear in tutus, they are mostly content to appear as themselves, interacting with the dancers to create the most exquisite photos, full of line and elegance and joy.
This is a book you’ll look at over and over, always finding something new to delight you. Dancers and Dogs belongs on everyone’s coffee table.
Susan M. Ewing
Past president, Cat Writers’ Association
Past secretary, Dog Writers Association of America
Award-winning author, 14 animal books
“Cats! Train Your Owner” (Flash Cards)
Numerous magazine articles