Photo Essay – Ibiza: The Dancers

I’ve decided I’m going to post a photo essay every week, and what better place to start than where I started my trip – Ibiza.

Ibiza is an island off the southern coast of Spain, 79 km away from the city of Valencia. It is a vacation destination for many, but is particularly popular with British families and clubbers worldwide. A main party destination, it’s said to have the biggest and best clubs in the world and draws electronic music enthusiasts from everywhere.

I chose Ibiza as my first working destination because of an experience I’d had in Ios, Greece 10 years earlier. The idea being that it was an island that required a ton of people to work during the summer, most of whom would be foreigners. I went expecting to tend bar, but ran into work permit issues and changed plans. Through the three weeks of networking I’d done trying to get the bartending gig, I found a job working as a photographer for a British website focusing on the clubs, which was stroke of good luck. I’d gone with a plan of hitting each of the big six clubs at least once, and ended up working the clubs 5-6 nights a week and running a team of four photographers scattered around the island.

This Essay is part two of four and focuses on the dancers. Part one focused on the DJs.  In coming weeks, the other categories will be Clubs, and Clubbers.

A dancer at Pasha on a motorcycle.

In addition to standard dancers, Pasha had a special group of girls that would come out a couple times a night, often with props such as this motorcycle

The Dancers at Pete Tong's Wonderland had elaborate fantasy costumes.

The Dancers at Pete Tong's Wonderland had elaborate fantasy costumes.

Another Wonderland dancer with an intricate necklace.

Another Wonderland dancer with an intricate necklace.

A dancer on a swing at Pasha

Clubs would often include other type of performers, including circus type acts like contortionists and swing or rope performers.

A broad view of Eden during Reclaim The Dance Floor

Tuesdays were known for Ibiza Rocks - a rock concert at a hotel venue followed by Reclaim The Dance Floor, their club night at Eden.

A fire dancer swings balls of fire around himself as he dances at the seal pit in Ibiza.

A fire dancer does his thing at the seal pit, one of three main areas for music at the Zoo Project.

The Zoo Project had a variety of performers, often made up like animals.

A performer for The Zoo Project, a club on Saturdays that used and abandoned zoo as its venue.

A dancer at Eden

The makeup, costumes and movement often made the dancers great, but difficult, photographic subjects.

A Pasha dancer in a full body suit.

The costumes worn by the dancers on the island ran from full body suits like this to next to nothing, depending on the club and that night's theme.

A Pasha dancer on a motorcycle on the main stage.

As Pasha had more of a Spanish clientele than most of the other clubs, they were usually a bit more elaborate with their dance crews than some of the other clubs.

A dancer at Pasha, with the club in the background.

A dancer in the main room at Pasha with the club in the background.

A Wonderland dancer with a very detailed mask

One of the things I really like about shooting the dancers is the movement you can sometimes capture when the lighting works out.

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  • Albert

    I love the light with the movement. Especially the fire dancer. Thanks for taking us there Travis!

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  • Hannah D

    I help put on club nights in London and I really like seeing images that show the positive side of clubs, as opposed to the tons of negative pictures showing very intoxicated people spilling out of them in the wee small hours. Both this album and the DJ one give a really excellent account of the people who work inside these places and make sure everyone has a night to remember. I love the fantastical elements of these photos as well. Great stuff.

  • Carmen Allan-Petale

    What an awesome job! Bet you saw some crazy things during your time there. Would love to visit Ibiza someday… guess I better get to it while I’m still young…