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Former Gibbs dancers grace calendar's pages

Published Aug. 24, 2005

(ran East, West, Beach editions)

An internationally known photographer famous for creating "living sculptures caught in time" has captured the images of two former Gibbs High School students.

Lois Greenfield, whose work has appeared in the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, Elle, Vogue, Life and the New York Times Magazine has included former St. Petersburg residents Helen Hansen and Jennifer Clutterbuck in her most recent calendar titled Breaking Bounds 2005.

The calendar features 28 professional dancers as they twist and turn in a myriad of anatomically complex positions that Greenfield describes as "high risk, nonrepeatable moments."

She chose Hansen, who attended Gibbs' Pinellas County Center for the Arts from 1993 to 1995, as the featured dancer for June and July.

She picked Clutterbuck, who graduated from PCCA in 1995, for March, September and November.

Both Hansen, 25, and Clutterbuck, 27, described the opportunity to work with Greenfield as a dream come true.

"Every dancer knows Lois Greenfield's photography," Clutterbuck said in an interview on Wednesday from her parents' home in St. Petersburg. "I've loved her work ever since I was in high school."

Greenfield, who began her career in the late '60s as a photojournalist in Boston, started concentrating on dancers for publications such as the Village Voice after she moved to New York City in 1973.

Frustrated with what she perceived as a lack of control over her results when she photographed dancers in rehearsal, she started bringing them to her studio where she was able to capture gravity-defying images by setting her camera at a high shutter speed of 1/2,000 of a second and using flash units.

Over the years, she has attracted clients such as Cutty Sark, Sony Music and Kodak in addition to the top magazines. She published her first book of dance photographs in 1992. A second volume appeared in 1998. She recently finished work on a third book.

Not knowing where or when the photos Greenfield makes of her will appear is part of the thrill for Clutterbuck. Two of the images that appear in the calendar were shot for a print ad for a pharmaceutical company. The third was shot specifically for the calendar.

"When I arrived at the studio, Lois asked me what I could do," Clutterbuck said. "I did a handstand. She asked, "Can you do that on one hand?' Now she calls that my move."

Because Greenfield photographed them on different days, neither woman knew the other would appear in the calendar. Hansen found out Clutterbuck had been included from Susan Pomerantzeff, her dance instructor at PCCA.

The inclusion of two former PCCA students is a great compliment to the school, Hansen said.

"It speaks well for St. Petersburg and PCCA and the studios where we trained," she said. "We were ready to face a college that was competitive and a career that in the best of times is difficult and at the worst of times is impossible."

After graduating from PCCA, Clutterbuck went to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia on a merit scholarship and earned a degree in dance education in 1999. She and her boyfriend live in Harlem and own a five-member modern dance company called Daniel Caldwell and the Leverage Group. The company spent several weeks in Peru in October teaching modern technique classes.

Hansen transferred to a private conservatory in Boca Raton after her sophomore year at PCCA. She entered the Juilliard School in New York City under the early admission option and graduated in May 2001.

Six months later, she had a job with Buglisi/Foreman Dance, a company that includes artists from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ballet Hispanico.

Greenfield invited her to a two-day photo shoot after seeing her perform.

"We weren't necessarily trying to get that shot," Hansen said referring to one of two photos in which she appears with dancer Kanji Segawa.

"It turned out looking like I was catapulting over his shoulder."

Hansen said Greenfield's ability to freeze movement has given her insight into her art, allowing her to see her work from a different perspective.

"Instead of seeing everything as a phrase, she breaks it down to one millisecond. It's amazing what you can see."

Clutterbuck was thrilled to see the final product, but the real joy for her was in the process.

"I go in, I have fun and I forget about it," she said. "If the pictures get used, that's wonderful. If they don't, I got to work with Lois, and that's good enough."

Frozen by Lois Greenfield's lens are Kanji Segawa and Helen Hansen, left. Hansen, a former Gibbs High student, is featured in the June and July photos of Greenfield's newly published calendar, Breaking Bounds 2005. Jennifer Clutterbuck, right, another Gibbs grad, is the March, September and November subject.