Degas’ Dancers: Behind The Scenes, At The Barre : NPR
The curator of a new Degas exhibit talks about the parallel between the repetition of Degas’ drawing routine and the ballet dancers he drew:
“You have to draw and draw and draw — just like a dancer practices again, again and again the same steps, the same movements in order to achieve that beautiful grace and fluidity and mastery of their art,” says Rathbone.
Merce Cunningham, the avant-garde American dancer and choreographer, said “dancers shouldn’t be dancers if they don’t love the dailiness of it,” adds Webre. “It’s that dailiness that Degas captured, and it’s the dailiness that’s in the spirit of his return to those subjects.”
“Dailiness.” I love that—you have to love the “dailiness” of what you’re doing.
Also, something I never thought about: Degas rarely drew dancers in performance — only practice. “In their pretty tutus and sashes, they are in the process of making art — that’s the subject of Degas’ obsession.”