Ballet in Art

Degas, Dalí, Chagall, and other artists from the Collection

Sep.23 (Sat), 2006 – Mar.18 (Sun), 2007
Ballet is a field in the arts in which expressions are revealed by means of the movement of the human body. It is a synthetic theatrical art in which various elements such as music, stage setting, costumes, and lighting are involved. Many an artist has been fascinated by dance including ballet and taken it up as a theme for his or her work. By portraying different movements and poses of a person dancing, the artist pursues the formative beauty of the human body and endeavours to capture the rhythm, liveliness, or instantaneous movement itself.

 Approximately 110 works from diverse genres such as painting, sculpture, and craftwork belonging to the Pola Museum of Art were selected according to the theme of ballet and other dances. This exhibition was an attempt to examine the diversity and charm of the human being’s bodily expressions. The exhibition comprised pastels and sculptures by Degas, who continuously portrayed dancers, paintings and prints by Laurencin and Chagall, who undertook stage art, glasswork by Lalique and Argy-Rousseau, who employed dance as a decorative motif, figurative works by modern Italian sculptors such as Emilio Greco and Fazzini, and design drawings for an American ballet company by Dalí. Many of the works and references included in this exhibition were closely connected to the development of European and American ballet from the 19th century to the 20th century, demonstrating the diverse relationship between artists and ballet or art and ballet.