There are countless ballet paintings hanged on the walls in museums around the world, and some might be in your house. That’s actually not surprising since ballet is one of the most beautiful things that could bring life to canvas. Although, ballet painting is popular for collectors for decades, not all of them could be recognized. However, ballet painting is like a portrait painting, if we have the famous “Monalisa”, why don’t we have one for ballet?
I’m talking about “The Dance Class”, the most memorable ballet painting by a French famous artist, Edgar Degas. “The Dance Class” has its original name in French, La Classe de Dense, which is the same meaning in English. It was painted in 1873 considering the most ambitious figural compositions except for history paintings of Degas. The painting was done in 1876.
This oil painting features Jules Perrot, one of the most well-known ballet master at that time, rehearsing dancers in the Foyer de la Danse of the Palais Garnier, or Paris Opera.
The reason that “The Dance Class” has become famous might be because we could feel the picture. Even though, there’s no dancing figure on canvas, all of them are really show expressions through their postures; strict teaching of the teacher, bored waiting by putting arms on the waist, or even scratching on the back while listening. Those are the things that actually happen all the time in ballet classes. Whether his idea came from the real picture or not, Edgar Degas just did it right along the way.
Story Source from Heilbrunn Timeline of Art | The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Wikipedia
Photograph from Canvasreplicas
Ballet has turned in a variety of ways to present its richness through movies, photographs, fashion, and more to say. Print is one of those things that seems to be growing so fast these days for marketing ballet.
A lot of ballet companies has already changed their traditional pink tutu-ed ballerina posters to a new challenging alternative. We have recently seen ballet in japanese-styled cartoon posters, or just some graphics without any ballet features posted in front of the world famous ballet companies. However, the results are not that bad, people actually are captured by those captivated ads.
Old and new styles of ballet ad
The Ballet Bag, one of my favorite ballet website blogged, “We think the ballet industry should be thinking outside the box; perhaps looking at the web output of amateur and professional illustrators and/or graphic artists not immediately linked to the field of dance for new concepts and inspiration.”
I totally agree with The Ballet Bag. Sometimes it’s just frustrating to repeatedly watch the same ballet story, or see the old style of ballet posters. I’m always excited every times ballet companies come up with their new ideas to present the performances. And yes, I’m awake to see their new ways of advertising, too!
Because we love to see something new all the time, don’t we?
Image sources from Ballet.co.uk & The Ballet Blog. You can also check out The Ballet Bag to read and discover more unexpected images.
Have you ever wondered if ballet dancers were not on stage, what would they do? After I’ve been looking through many ballet blogs, another thing that I found is there is a pretty big space on blogs appearing the names of professional ballet dancers. Yes, some of them becomes a blogger in their spare time!
One of them is Ashley Bouder, a principal dancer at New York City Ballet. She’s a blogger for Huffington Post, yet but recently she just well done blogged on my favorite dance site, Dance Pulp.
“Finding inspiration is always the quest of every good artist. Or, really anyone who hopes to keep motivated throughout life.”
“I do love to watch my peers from the wings. Seeing the sweat, the faces they make that the audience never sees, hearing them breath and shout off stage, and all the other aspects like that makes me feel better about how I feel when I’m out there.”
“I never feel more alive than onstage. That’s not to say it is every show, but there are those nights when I just want to relive every moment a thousand times.”
“The depth of the pools of inspiration are endless. It just takes the courage and thought to dive in.”
These are some parts of her blog which inspired me a lot. I love that she named her blog “My Pools of Inspiration” because it’s exactly right after I finished reading it. She told us where she gets her inspiration and how to keep herself inspired. She spread it out through beautiful words, and I’ve been touched to her feeling. Her blog is not just for her but everyone. Ashley, you’re not just a professional ballet dancer but also a qualified blogger.
Visit the original site and read Ashley’s blog, then you could say I didn’t say anything wrong!
Quotes from Dancepulp
Photograph from New York City Ballet
During my Spring Break, I had a chance to read and visit a number of ballet blogs. I was falling in love with many sites, and of course bloggers, who kept me addict to read their posts over nights. One of them is ‘Ballet News‘ where I found this interesting thing to share with you.
“GISELLE IN 3D from the historic Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg is the world’s first 3D ballet and will be screening at cinemas across the UK on March 29th and April 3rd. This exquisite, classical ballet has been filmed in 3D to create a pixel-perfect production which captures the movement of a world-class performance in a new and mesmerising way. The corps de ballet fan away from the viewer and the prima ballerinas dance with stunning realism, giving cinema audiences worldwide a ‘best seat in the house’ experience wherever they happen to sit.”
“WOW.” This is such a new great choice to present ballet without seat selection problem. As we know, Giselle is one of the most romantic ballet stories in the history, and it’s very right to have been chosen as the first high-tech ballet in cinemas.
Just saying ballet in 3D, I believe there’s many excitement from audiences to watch the movie. Including with the two shinning stars of Mariinsky Theatre; Natalie Osipova and Leonid Sarafanov, it’s no doubt to see ballet lovers sit on their best seats enjoying the stunning ballet in two acts, with their popcorns!
Quote from Balletnews
Photograph from Digitalcinemareport
It was the first time that ballet movie was nominated in Academy Awards, and it was the first time for Natalie Portman wining the best actress in Oscar from the ballet movie, ‘Black Swan’.
‘Black Swan’ hugely motivates viewers to turn back and more consider of dance in films. There is a bunch of ballet movies on the list, but it seems like no one except ballerinas and dancers are appealed to this kind of movie. Hip-Hop movies; for example, Step Up, are more attractive to people because of its soundtrack, quick story telling, and sexy stars on the screen.
However, film companies never stop making ballet movies. There are 18 ballet movies in a film history. It has been continued since 1948 when ‘The Red Shoes’ was first time released until 2011 of ‘Black Swan’. It’s because a reality of ballet hides many drama stories behind the stage, and it’s might be the time to reveal those secrets.
Ballet movies are based on pretty much the same story telling; competition, dream, love, pressure, and applaud. In fact, those are a real environment that every dancers have been faced every single day.
It’s not easy to be a great ballerina. It’s hard to make a successful ballet movie. Difficulties along those paths easily make dancers and filmmakers give up on their dreams. On the other hand, whenever they eventually step on the stage, no one forget their names.
Video edited by Ballet Blossom
Inspiration and creativity are related to all the art forms around the world. Especially, when an artist meets an artist, a fantastic art piece is created.
When Ballet dancer dances on the stage, we know that it’s quite hard for all amateurish photographers to catch up her movement. Even professional photographers, they sometimes face that problem as well.
But what if Ballet dancers post their artistic line outside theaters, and let photographers take their pictures?
This is a great idea from a visionary team in New York called “Ballerina Project”. They invite experienced photographers to create a combination of dance, fashion, and the city’s landscape through the movement of ballerinas.
Visit their blog or become a fan on their facebook to discover more incredible creative photographs both in colors, and many in black and white!
Photograph by Ballerina Project
If you’re not a Ballet dancer, or not old enough to wear pointe shoes, you might be surprised when a scene of ‘Black Swan’ revealing one of the top ballet secrets!
Wearing pointe shoes is a dream of young ballerinas. Because of its gorgeous feature, pointe shoes is a symbol of becoming a professional Ballet dancer. Nonetheless, it’s hardly easy to wear them. Pointe shoes is thick, heavy and very uncomfortable to wear, actually dance! That’s why none of Ballet dancer wears pointe shoes right away they buy it.
For decades, Ballet dancers figured out how to eliminate the discomfort and make them fit to their feet when dancing. Every dancers have their own techniques to polish the shoes, yet based on the 90% same methods. We bend, massage, strike, cut, wet, heat, and even burn the shoes. Therefore, we call all of those things in once, “breaking in”.
Everytime we start breaking the shoes, of course we miss their beauty. If you’re going to wear pointe shoes for the first time and your teacher asks you to break them, you might be heart broken. But I would say…you have to do it.
Pointe shoes is like your feet’s best friend. How much they know each other, how far they get along with. Make it best fit to your feet, practice hard, and you will shine on the stage!