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La danse et Degas

La danse et Degas

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

Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris

The Paris Opéra Ballet is the official ballet company of the Opéra national de Paris, otherwise known as the Palais Garnier, though known more popularly simply as the Paris Opéra. Its origins can be traced back to 1661 with the foundation of the Académie Royale de Danse and the Le Ballet de l'Opéra in 1713 by King Louis XIV of France.

The aim of the Académie Royale de Danse was to reestablish the perfection of dance. In the late seventeenth century, using 13  professional dancers to drive the academy, the Paris Opéra Ballet  successfully transformed ballet from court entertainment to a  professional performance art for the masses. It later gave birth to the  Romantic Ballet, the classical form of ballet known throughout the world. The Paris Opéra Ballet dominated European  ballet throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and  remains a leading institution in the art of ballet today.


Source: New World Encyclopedia

La danse et Degas

Artistic direction / Conception : Mischa Scorer

Interpretation : Sami Frey

Original music : David Poore

Other collaborations : 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

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