Andrea Grützner’s images from her series, Tanztee are bold and brilliant, capturing the interactions of a rural Eastern German community in a beautifully eye-catching way.
Tanztee in German means “tea dance” and the early-evening jolliness that often preceded a garden party is a tradition that goes back to Victorian times but is still practised by people all over Europe. Here Andrea focuses on a group of women she met while visiting a long-established guesthouse in Germany and the results are a touching portrayal of companionship and fun.
The photographer’s inspiration stems from the pure devotion to music these women have and the tactile nature the dancing conjures. The clash of colours and fabrics is also significant for Andrea. “What really excites me is the visual amplification of the emotions within the images from the wild patterns of their colourful dresses and the repetition of jewellery", she explains. The pictures are almost garish on first sight, but there’s actually a real tenderness to them echoed by the hands placed lightly on shoulders and clasped gently to their partner.
This is further highlighted by Andrea’s tight crops, where she’s abstracted and flattened the image to fill the entire frame. But it’s the human undertones that make it for me, with the wrinkles and fabric folds turning it into something magical. It’s this combination of stunning visual impact blended with a wonderful story that thrills me so much about this project.