Kiran Steven West - Biography
British by Birth. Raised in Canada. Found my true self after moving to Hamburg, Germany. Former soloist with the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier. Now the official company photographer, book/poster designer and videographer.
If I were to be honest and open, I would say my childhood was a whirlwind of excitement and passion. I was, if put simply: a difficult and emotional young boy. But, with my parents to guide and support me, I became a very driven and work committed person.
At the age of 12, I decided that to pursue ballet professionally and so I moved to the boarding center at The National Ballet School of Canada. Looking back, I'm not sure I really appreciated it as much as I should have (for I was always getting myself into unnecessary trouble).
At 18 years old, I decided that my future was on the other side of the world. I went to Hamburg and arrived on a beautiful sunny day (something quite rare). After joining the Hamburg Ballet, I began once again to pick up my hobby of photography. Having studied it at the National Ballet School for 3 years and working the dark room during weekdays and weekends (secretly), I became fully immersed in the art.
I would sometimes sneak myself around
the school studios after hours (getting into unnecessary trouble again) and challenge
my mind to find that undiscovered
So when I thought about rekindling my spirit for photography around the age of 20, it was a very different experience, as I had never photographed ballet. It was as I realised, very special and very challenging. As a dancer I already knew how one should be presented and so I practiced and practiced whenever I had a free moment to spare. Sometimes that meant picking up my camera for 10 minutes during a performance and then jumping back on the stage and finishing it up. (once, I missed the first bow... which didn't make my ballet master very happy). At other times, it was with the supported permission of John
Neumeier and the former company
photographer Holger Badekow, allowing me to photograph a dress rehearsal from the house auditorium. After almost 10 years of building up my archive and honing my craft, it became apparent that this was what my future should become.