by David Makranasky
A particular focus of Degas' was dance and ballet, but he never strayed from his psychological, working-man style. The vast majority of Degas' paintings of dancers depict rehearsals and preparations for rehearsals, emphasizing their roles as professionals in a job. His juxtaposition of art and work closely paralleled his own situation as a working painter, a connection often highlighted by art historians. Yet Degas was clearly excited by the beauty of dance, even as he portrayed dancers as workers in a profession. He spent large expanses of time at the Paris Opera and Ballet, attempting to capture their classical beauty on the canvas. The ballet presented him with the opportunity to depict fluidity and suppleness of motion just as art was adjusting to the modern technologies of electricity and photography, guaranteeing that painting would continue as an appreciated art form in the modern era. The pale beauty of the ballerinas also allowed Degas to work in pastel, a style he returned to life in France. Many of his works featuring dancers, including "Danseuse Assise" and "L'etoile" can be found on display in art museums in Paris, St. Petersburg, and across America.
Even though it's the last day of July we'd like to send a shout out to all the folks we know who celebrated birthdays this month. Whether you're a fan, a friend or a fellow choreographer, Monkeyhouse Loves You!!
Here is a HUGE Happy Birthday to:
Aisha Cruse, Twyla Tharp, Ginger Rogers, Renee Harris, Michael Flatley, Andrew Nemr, Jon Wye, Randal Rosenberg, Edgar Degas, and Katelyn Alcott.