JULIEN BENHAMOU – Show of Strength

Benhamou captures the chiseled and powerful finesse of the masculine body.

Because he knows – and he does indeed – how to capture the unique and exhilarating relationship between the body, and time, and space, Julien Benhamou was a perfect choice for an Opéra in search of its right official photographers.

A quick and unexpected jeté away from the Opera, the Lido – one of the most enchanting Parisian stages – has historically and consistently vibrated with the presence of the world’s most renowned dancers. From Josephine Baker to LaMichael Leonard, whose talent has been growing under Bill T Jones’ artistic direction, there also might be a jeté, but the dancer turned model for Benhamou is happy to throw in a couple of pirouettes for good measures.

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LaMichael is wearing a Yohji Yamamoto suit.

Sliding between the doors that shift from the theater’s mint gold decorations to today’s glits-and-glam scenography, LaMichael Leonard deployed his vast and muscular elegance of movement, a spectacular and seemingly effortless exercise in beauty.

Energy elated by the subtlety of black. Draped manliness, floating in a Julius poncho, just like a cocoon.

Perfect Miyake pleats covering his legs, leaving room for thighs to breath and move. And, as it gets close to the tensed ankles, the fabric weaves and digs its roots far into the earth, into the fondation of being and spirit.

Yamamoto’s precious wild orchid blooms from a fertile black, where red and gold hatch out, just next to the tuberose’s pearly white.
Here, the movement embrace freedom with the lightness of fabric, printing in fiber its joyous ondulations. Enhanced by the artist’s eye, technicality is serving beauty, singularity, and talent.

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LaMichael is wearing a poncho by Julius.

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LaMichael is wearing Issey Miyake pants.

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LaMichael is wearing an Issey Miyake pleated coat.

Artistic Director & Photographer: Julien Benhamou
Dancer: LaMichael Leonard
Assisting: Aline Dolinka et Emilie Bouchon
Styling: LECLAIREUR
Special thanks to the Lido for hosting us.