Archive for the ‘Exhibits’ Category

Paris Trip Included Dance

July 13, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this blog. That’s because I was focusing on a trip to Paris. Lots of time was spent reading tour guides, making plans, and packing.

Well, the trip is over and it was fabulous. My husband and I saw lots of amazing sites, beautiful artwork, ate delicious food, and drank many bottles of wine. I haven’t danced for almost two weeks, but did get lots of exercise. We walked and walked, and climbed many steps to take advantage of the wonderful views of the city.Some of the sites that we took in were dance related.

Opera Garnier

We went on a tour of the magnificent Opera Ganier, home of the well-known Paris Opera Ballet.  The auditorium has a wonderful Marc Chagall painting on the ceiling and a glittering chandelier hanging down. The tour also included drawings of costumes and actual costumes from many ballets that have been performed at the opera house. We didn’t get to see the Paris Opera Ballet, but I can imagine that it is a wonderful experience to see them perform in this beautiful setting. (The company is performing in the US at the David  H.  Koch Theatre, Lincoln Center through 7/22/12).

Just down the street from the Opera Garnier, there was a dance supply store, Repetto.  I was overwhelmed by the store and didn’t take advantage of purchasing any dance clothing. I had hoped to go back another time while we were there, but I guess it will have to be the next trip to Paris. I’m not sure if their merchandise is available in the US or not. There was a store in the Capital District at one point, but that was many years ago.

Of course we saw dance artwork, including my favorite, the “Little Dancer of Fourteen Years”, by Edgar Degas. I viewed the sculpture from every angle for long periods of time. She looks just like an innocent young dancer. There were also several other Degas paintings such as “Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers” and the “Ballet Rehearsal”. I have notecards with copies of these paintings, but there is nothing like the original.

What a wonderful trip! Now it’s back to teaching and dancing! And we returned just in time for the New York City Ballet’s stay at Saratoga Performing Arts Center!


Nudes, Dancers, and More

February 9, 2012

Photo of Little Dance of Fourteen Years sculptureI’ve always admired the artwork of Edgar Degas, especially the work depicting dancers. Somehow he captures the beauty of the dancers’ body positions.  I can picture the dancers moving and feel like I am a part of the class .  And his sculpture,  Little Dancer of Fourteen Years,  is exceptional. Although some thought that it was ugly when it was first displayed in 1881, to me it shows the beauty and innocence of a very young dancer. The pose is not a beautiful pose, in fact it is somewhat awkward. That is what makes it so realistic.

The “Degas and the Nude” exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA, brought to light another aspect of Degas’ work. It was amazing to see how his studies of the nude body gave him a sense of how clothing draped on the body. In the exhibit there were many instances where the nude study was displayed and next to it there was a piece where he drew upon  the nude study. I found this particularly interesting because you could see how he used the nude study to further his understanding of how the body moved.

If you didn’t get to see this exhibit, there is a book  Degas and the Nude , that explores the artist’s treatment of the nude from his early years all the way to his last decades when the theme dominated his artistic production in all media. It will definitely give you a glimpse of how the study of nudes was incorporated into his work.