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Dancers in the Dark

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO – May, 2016

Dancers in the Dark, photo essay by Eva Clifford


Earlier this year, I travelled to Mexico to follow the story of a group of blind girls taking ballet as a form of therapy. Psicoballet, as it is known, is a Cuban psychotherapeutic dance method founded by Georgina Fariñas Garcia in 1973. Founded upon the idea that dance is rooted in our biology, Psicoballet claims to boost self-esteem, decrease anxiety and depression, and improve the body’s balance and mobility.


CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - June, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016


One young woman dedicated to teaching Psicoballet is Lorena Nieva, who has applied the method to her own dance practice in Mexico. Each weekend, Lorena voluntarily travels the 130 km distance from her hometown of Puebla to Mexico City to teach this group of blind girls.

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016

CHIAPAS, MEXICO - May, 2016


For this series, I accompanied the group on a trip to the southern state of Chiapas in Mexico. We travelled seventeen hours to reach the small coastal town of Tonalá, where the girls were performing two dances at a school. For many of the girls, this was the first time they’d experienced the ocean too, so it was a particularly memorable trip for them. (Eva Clifford)

Q&A with Eva Clifford

Photography is…
…my way of telling stories.

Photography and writing…
I actually find it difficult to combine the two, as I enjoy the mystery that comes with a photograph or a piece of writing. But for documentary photography, text is essential to provide context to the images – you need to know what’s going on.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
My mother will always be an inspiration to me.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
A: … thanks to Lorena Nieva and the girls for allowing me to photograph this story and to Private for sharing it!

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