Dance Photographer Omar Z Robles dance film “Pointe of Focus”

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Join Omar Z Robles on the streets and in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in SmugMug’s latest film Pointe of Focus as he captures the grace, power, and beauty of some of Brazil’s ballet dancers. 

For Omar Z Robles, to be different is to be extraordinary. Leaning on his background in performance arts, Robles captures the beauty of ballet dancers using the vibrant streets of Rio de Janeiro as their stage. The familiar background strips away the barrier between subject and viewer, daring you to explore the power of being different.

Based in New York City, Robles began photographing ballet dancers began as a series of self-portraits in which he’d capture his own jumps and leaps in unique cityscapes and backgrounds. Eventually, he realized he could better direct the shots if he outsourced the actual dancing to dancers.

“Dancers are different,” Robles says. “They walk differently. They become their art. When you see them move, leap, extend, that’s when you really understand how extraordinary they are.”

Robles never planned to become a professional photographer. After starting as an engineering student, he decided to follow his passion for performance art and studied mime theatre in Paris under the tutelage of legendary mime actor Marcel Marceau. After ten years of study and performance, he discovered he had a natural talent for composition in photography.

The textures and energy of Brazil provide the perfect backdrop for his work. Join him on a dream trip to capture the precision and power of dancers in the streets of their own city.

SmugMug Films, the video production division of photo storage and sharing platform SmugMug, tells Omar’s story in its newest film, “Pointe of Focus.”

These films dive into the the stories of photographers that inspire and amaze others, and Omar’s passion for photography and dance come to life in this new film.