You are currently viewing archive for July 2013
Posted By Susan Bernhardt
Kay walked past Edgar Degas' imposing bronze sculpture, "The 
Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer" into one of two rooms dedicated 
to Degas at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She moved from one 
ballet painting to another, completely absorbed in his work, 
observing his depiction of movement in the paintings and his 
choice of unusual viewpoints, angles at which ballet was never 
intended to be viewed.

Degas showed the world of the ballet with truthfulness; the ideal 
verses reality, the beauty but also the difficulties of achieving 

Kay sat down on a bench in front of "The Rehearsal of the Ballet 
Onstage" totally mesmerized. The painting grew more complex with 
analysis. Her eyes moved during a random glance with the movement 
in the painting.

As Kay focused on the painting, she began to hear the sound of 
strings. Turning around, she saw only the museum guard standing in 
the doorway. She stood up and moved closer to the painting. Degas' 
technique of using pastels in long, undulating lines over the base 
coat of oil, gave the painting the same vibrancy and energy of the 
dancers. Kay watched as the ballet dancers stretched in rehearsal, 
then saw the purity of the dance itself, romantic and feminine, 
the precision of their footwork, the carriage of their arms. 
Suddenly the layers of tulle netting in one dancer's full skirts 
blocked the view of another's foot movements. 

Kay stretched her neck to the right to see the details of the 
blocked dancer's pointwork, then slowly she inched over to where 
Degas was painting. The detail of it did not escape his eye. 
Working quickly, Degas captured the dancer's footwork. Kay stood 
behind Degas watching the dancers and watching his depiction of 
them. After putting the finishing touches on his painting, he 
turned around and looked up at Kay. 

"Tres belle!" she whispered to him. 

He smiled, his eyes bright and spoke but a single, "Merci." With a 
contented smile, he turned back to his canvas.

An enchanting melody drifted  across the rehearsal room. Degas 
completed his name, then put his brush down.  He wiped his fingers 
on a soft cloth that was attached to his easel, then finished 
watching the dance. Looking at Degas' profile, Kay saw a single 
tear escape from his eye.

"Kay...Kay, I was wondering where you were." Kay looked over to 
her left and saw Phil, her husband. "There's a Monet two rooms 
over that I want to show you." 

Kay hooked her arm through Phil's. As she left the room, she 
glanced back at "The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage" then blew a 

When making a comment in the Guestbook, please only hit the submit 
button once. Your comment could take up from 15 seconds to a 
minute to go through, but it will go through. Thank you. 



User Profile
Susan Bernhardt


You have 194626 hits.