©1998 Joe McNally
Rooftop Ballerina, Moscow
In yet another inventive departure, McNally photographed an essay on members of the Bolshoi Ballet by posing them in totally incongruous situations--including steam baths, subway platforms and on rooftops.."I love to do that," he says. "I love to develop illustrative types of pictures that have an oddity, a peculiar aspect to them in terms of their location in relationship to what is going on in the picture."

"But the pictures," says McNally, "were not just odd for oddity's sake." Rather, he was trying to visualize the concept of the arts as a constant in a country that has, in recent years, been adrift on a sea of perpetual change. "Russia is a society in torment right now," he says. "It is disengaged from its recent past and it is going through all these gyrations and what continues? What is a constant in that environment? How do the arts survive? Are the arts the continual thread that holds society together?"