“Brilliant, semi-aerial…”. Ballet has always inspired the great geniuses of art to create unfading masterpieces. And just like Pushkin in a few lines conveyed all his admiration for the grace and beauty of the ballerina, so Degas managed to capture a moment of ballerina hovering on a wave of glory and applause from the public in a static picture.
She is alone in the focus of the picture, she is caught up in the delight of her art and it seems that she is about to take off on an invisible stream of music and applause. Only a pointe touches the scene and, like an unearthly creature, does not even cast shadows. Without drawing the surrounding details of the interior – coarse planks of the floor or heavy fabric on the wings – the artist deliberately separated the dancer from earthly reality. The ballerinas in the background seemed to stand still in the autumn forest, and the light of the ramp, enveloping it, would receive a soft glow,
And only the statuesque figure of a man in an expensive black suit, traced in a respectable observant pose, seems to be deliberately heavy and irrelevant in this aerial scenery of the dancer’s success. This is a fan or philanthropist, and it is clearly not without his help that the prima is today basking in glory. His confidence in his position and pragmatism does not let him forget about the backstage intrigues and the hard work of ballerinas on the path to long-awaited but too fleeting recognition.
All works by Degas devoted to ballet are imbued with sympathy and admiration for the stubbornness and courage of these fragile women. He, like no one else, always managed to recall how much work, unhappiness, injury, and sometimes death on the stage is behind the beautiful images created. And the audience will applaud, and she will smile and bow to her in a grateful curtsy, and after the performance will bring happiness to her patron, and only a ray of the ramp will carry into eternity tears of happiness and pain of the ballet prima.