About the project

Commissioned and exhibited by Carriageworks in March 2011, POWER MOVES is a photographic series which studies the form and sculptural quality of Breaking, or B-Boying as it is otherwise known.

Shot in a controlled studio setting, Nick Bassett has captured a highly talented group of dancers right in the split-second moment of their signature moves. The series is a study in form, physicality and skill, not simply a documentation of the moves or how they are performed. "With this series I was really interested in studying and isolating the amazing forms created by these dancers and the incredible strength and technicality that they apply to their moves and the physical sculptures that are created".

To most people, Breaking is quite a misunderstood art form and something that has developed primarily out of the public eye since it's initial popularity in the 1980's. Nick admits: "Personally I knew very little about it, despite being involved in other areas of hip hop for many years. I have often watched Breaking being performed at various shows but always found it very hard to see past the crowd and actually focus on what was happening. On top of this, I have often wished that I could somehow pause what was happening so I could actually make sense of it because it happens at such high speed". In order to 'pause' these fleeting moments, Nick got the dancers into a studio and employed an extremely fast flash setup - shooting at 1/4000th of a second - to freeze the action. These high-speed captures allow us to see the art of Breaking from a whole new perspective and through this series we are given a unique view into the skill and technicality of the B-Boys and B-Girls and their exceptional talent, flair and creativity.

Through POWER MOVES we experience a whole new appreciation for the skill, strength, balance and coordination that is required to execute these highly athletic moves. Dynamic and graphic, this series also exhibits a particular peace and tranquility, far removed from the usual setting of tight crowds and busy surroundings. By completely freezing the movement and using lighting to subtly highlight only the edges of his subjects and recede the rest of the figure into the background, Nick has created an artful series that highlights the form, tone and texture of some rarely-seen moments of a truly unique form of dance.


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Nick Bassett


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