June 20, 2013

Degas' Dancer Visits Mannebach-Salenstein

For my penultimate performance of dancing through my drawings, I chose to add one of my cut out dancing figures from Degas’s statuettes to an old landscape drawing. The drawing was done from a hillside at sunset in a small town in Germany called Mannebach-Salenstein. The dancer with the generous hips was featured here - looming large against the bright but darkening sky. I obviously favored her because she appeared in a number of my other compositions. This was her final appearance so I decided to regale her with a background that was large and dramatic.

Figures in my drawings have always had a close compositional relationship to their environments. The Mannenbach-Salenstein drawing is no exception. The arc of the model’s right arm echoed the shape of the tree limb on the right. Her left arm extended into the grasssy hillside- the fingers of her outstretched hand became absorbed into the blades of grass. Even the triangle formed by her crossed legs was repeated in the peaked roof of the house on the hill. The round hips was answered several times in the undulation of the hill. It was like a concerto - the figure being the single solo instrument whose cadences are answered by the orchestra of the background.

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