Archive for May, 2011

Jane Hall

Waltz; Jane Hall, 21st century


Jane Hall was inspired by Latin American and ballroom dancing.This piece, entitled Waltz, shows a man and woman in a ballroom dance. The two people appear to be moving together in a waltz.

Flamenco 2; Jane Hall; 21st century


This image by Jane Hall depicts a flamenco dancer. Jane Hall painted her skirt in a flowing, twirling manner. Her skirt also blends into the red background.

Can Can; Jane Hall, 21st century


This painting by Hall depicts a woman dancing the Can Can. She used bright colors to represent the delightful mood of the picture. The background is not realistic; it is simply a mix of bright, swirling colors, so the viewer focuses on the dancer.


Markova in "Le Cigne"; Carlotta Edwards, 20th century, oil on canvas


 This oil painting by Carlotta Edwards (1894-1977), daughter of the famous artist Ferdinand Pourrier, depicts Alicia Markova as the Dying Swan. Edwards attended ballet rehearsal frequently, and painted many ballet works. She attended St. John’s Wood Art School and some of her works have been seen at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and at the Paris Salon.

This painting, Swan Lake, by Edwards, depicts the principle dancer at the center with many other dancers around her. The sharp contrast between the dancers’ white classical tutus against the darker stage and backdrop makes the dancers stand out. This painting is 12 inches wide by 15 inches high.

Swan Lake; Carlotta Edwards, 20th century, painting

This is another painting of the famous ballet, Swan Lake, by Carlotta Edwards. Again, Edwards, emphasised the dancers by contrasting the costumes and the backdrop. The three dancers in the middle are the main focus, and are surrounded by many others.

Auguste Rodin

Cambodian Dancers; Auguste Rodin, 1906, drawing

This piece, titled Cambodian Dancers, was done in 1906 by Rodin. He drew inspiration for this work when the Royal Ballet of Cambodia visited Paris and Marseille. Rodin would sometimes create a drawing without looking at his work, always watching the models. This drawing depicts several dancers of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia.

NIjinsky; Auguste Rodin, 1912, bronze sculpture


 In 1912, Rodin attended Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun. Vaslev Nijinsky performed the lead role in the ballet. Intrigued, Auguste Rodin soon created this bronze sculpture of Nijinsky. He pinched rolls of clay and placed them together to create a distorted and modern form of the famous dancer Vaslev Nijinsky.



Danseuse Nue; Auguste Rodin, 19th century, serigraph

This is a serigraph by Rodin, representing a dancer. Serigraphy is a silk screening process using multiple layers of screens. The inspiration for this piece, as well, came from his fascination with dance. The dancer appeas to be stretching. Rodin created several other similar sketches of dance.

Alexey Brodovitch

Untitled (from the Ballet Series, Les Sylphides); Alexey Brodovitch, 1935-1937, silver print


This silver print photograph by Alexey Brodovitch shows several ballet dancers during a rehearsal or performance of the classic ballet, Les Sylphides. This photograph captures the twirling motion of the romantic tutus that the dancers wear. Brodovitch photographed several ballet companies such as the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo during his life. According to Brodovitch, the photographs were simply meant to be souvenirs, but fit into the popular style of straight photography of the time. He used a Contax 35mm camera, without a flash.


Ballet - Boutique Fantasque; Alexey Brodovitch, 1935-1937, gelatin silver print


Boutique Fantasque, meaning The Magic Toy Shop, was a ballet that premiered in June of 1919, performed by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Brodovitch photographed a version of it performed in the 1930’s. This is a gelatin silver print showing both male and female ballet dancers in motion.

Ballet (Boutique Fantasque); Alexey Brodovitch, 1935-1937, gelatin silver print


This is another gelatin silver print photograph of the same performance; Boutique Fantasque. Here, a man and woman near center stage are the main focus. In the background we can also see the lights and a few people watching from the wings.

Edgar Degas

Ballet Rehearsal; Edgar Degas, 1873, oil on canvas


This famous painting by Degas, Ballet Rehearsal, is an oil painting that can now be seen in the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. A group of dancers hold up thier legs as they rehearsal a ballet; a man playing an instrument sits in the corner. Degas was fascinated with dance, and painted many ballet subejcts. This one is a realist impressionist work.

Little Dancer of Fourteen Years; Edgar Degas, ca. 1881, wax


One of Degas’ most notable sculptures is his Little Dancer of Fourteen Years. Degas’ inspiration for this piece came from a ballet dance at the Paris Opéra. He aimed for a naturalistic effect. The sculpture was dressed in real fabrics and he gave it real hair with a ribbon.

Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers; Edgar Degas, 1878, oil painting


Another one of Edgar Degas’ famous oil paintings is Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers, done in 1878. It is also know as The Star of the Ballet. It can be considered an impressionist work.

Dance has long been expressed through art, whether it is a painting, sculpture, photograph, or other medium. This exhibition includes works from famed artists such as Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin. From modern sculpture, to impressionistic paintings, the Dancing through Art exhibition will leave you with a new appreciation for the art of dance.