La danse et Degas
On the occasion of the eponymous exhibition of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Mischa Scorer, who himself has filmed dance many times, explores the special relationship that Degas enjoyed with this art. We view the life of the painter through his paintings, moments at the Opéra today, and scenes of fiction of the artist in his workshop. With the help of a documented voice over, Richard Kendall and Jill DeVonyar, the exhibition curators, act as guides.
“Nothing in art should resemble an accident, even movement” noted Degas (1834-1917), who devoted more than half his work to dance. His daring compositions, viewpoints and the variety of his techniques amazed his contemporaries. Concerning his vision, Brigitte Lefèvre, the dance director at the Opéra, evokes that of a press photographer; Anne Pingeot, the curator of the Musée d'Orsay, narrates the scandal caused by the sculpture of the little dancer. The courtyards and wings interested Degas more than the pomp of the performances. Some details of his paintings allow us to identify a particular subscriber or Pygmalion watching over “his” dancer, valuable documentation for reconstructing life at the Opéra at that time. Martine Kahane, the director of the cultural department, takes us through the corridors and the rehearsal rooms: the to-and-fro movement between the paintings and the dancers, filmed in action or at rest, highlights the painter’s concern for realism.
Source : Boris France
La danse et Degas
Artistic direction / Conception
basé sur les recherches de Jill Devonyar et Richard Kendall
Production / Coproduction of the video work
ARTE France - Gabrielle Babin, Idéale Audience - Françoise Gazio, Thirteen WNET BBC NHK, Opéra National de Paris, Musée d’Orsay