Kyle Adler Awarded Honorable Mention in International Photography Awards (IPA) 2020 for “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching” Photo Essay

For visionary dancer Erin Yen, coding Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) in which artificial intelligence choreographs and then evaluates human movement is all in a day’s work. I captured Erin, improvising from some of her AI dance project’s themes, in the entry gate to her home.

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to announce that I was awarded an Honorable Mention in this year’s International Photography Awards in their Photo Essay & Feature Story category, Profession division. One of the world’s most prestigious photography competitions, the IPA receives tens of thousands of entries from professional and non-professional photographers in more than 120 countries and spanning all photographic genres.

The International Photography Awards’ mission is “to salute the achievements of the world’s finest photographers, to discover new and emerging talent, and to promote the appreciation of photography.” To accomplish this, the IPA “conducts an annual competition for professional, amateur, and student photographers on a global scale, creating one of the most ambitious and comprehensive competitions in the photography world today.”

This award is especially gratifying because the winning photo essay is comprised of a series of ten images from my pandemic passion project, “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching“, which I launched this past April as a testament to the resilient spirit of the creative community during these trying times.  The project adhered to the SF Bay Area’s strict shelter-in-place orders while allowing local dancers to create, inspiring others to keep the artistic community strong during our quarantine, raising funds for those most in need, and documenting this surrealistic period in our history. Scroll down to the end of this post to see more images from the project featured in the winning photo essay.

Thank you for your ongoing support of my work! And here’s to a safe, sane, and science-driven reopening of human activity on our planet over the coming months.

Warm regards,


Part of SF’s Tenderloin resident Dwayne Worthington’s shelter-in-place experience is spent at the remarkable SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts, a unique and special place founded by Joe Landini to fund, produce, educate, and assist local artists during difficult times. Now, of course, is an exceptionally difficult time for most artists, especially in the expensive SF Bay Area. Here, Dwayne improvises in his signature style of beautifully athletic movement encompassing afro and contemporary dance elements.

What do you call an artist who performs a fusion of dance, gymnastics, and theater? I can’t come up with the words to capture the expressiveness, humor, and athleticism of the wonderful Marie Walburg-Plouviez except to call it performance art. But at least I was able to capture her artistry in images!

Professional ballerina Izabella Duran-Soriano fell in love with ballet at the age of 18 months and has been dancing ever since. Here we captured the surprising juxtaposition of Bella’s graceful classical poses and lovely outfits against the industrial setting of her father’s Silicon Valley workplace.

Pole dance artist Lily Hoshi practices her craft in her home studio. The SF Bay Area pole and aerial dance scene is vibrant and growing, and this community’s strength and momentum cannot be stopped by a pandemic.