Peter Georges, the owner of Hash and Rodini Park, recently invited me and my team for a pre-opening lunch at the Conference Room, his new restaurant and lounge in The Bluffs office park. The food was amazing, and so was the service.
When I noticed our pixie-like server Desi had an accent, I was intrigued to know why she was in Playa Vista all the way from Bulgaria. Desi told me that after she and her twin sister Gracie performed a hip-hop dance routine on the hit show “So You Think You Can Dance,” they decided to come to Los Angeles to pursue a professional dance career. And that’s how this magazine’s cover story was born.
My photographer Maria Martin decided the perfect backdrop for shooting the sisters would be Playa Vista’s iconic Central Park. Unbeknownst to me, a stream full of tiny fish runs northwest through the park, behind the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace. It turned out to be an enchanting location.
The dancers arrived looking angelic in pink flowy gowns. As they posed precariously on rocks in the center of the water — Gracie in high heels! — I stood on the edge of the stream, holding a silver reflector hoping to bounce a little extra light on their lovely identical faces. Light on the water below the sisters cast a spectral reflection of a very real bodily reflection above. Thanks to Maria’s talent and keen eye, I found it to be a metaphorical experience.
As Desi and Gracie danced and posed for the camera, it was fun to observe them lower their voices as they switched into Bulgarian, using it as their own twin shorthand. Near the stream is a corridor of trees with a narrow sand walk. As the sun began to set, I could imagine the sisters as sprites, frolicking amongst the trees.
Some of the most striking photographs from the shoot are when the twins gaze deep into each other’s eyes, as if they are each staring into a living, breathing mirror. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading their story that’s illustrated with some of my favorite photographs yet.
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