The essence of movement
“RODIN AND DANCE” AT THE MUSÉE RODIN
Who could convey bodily emotions more intensely than a sculptor acclaimed as one the best of his generation ? In the 1890s, Rodin took a particular interest in dance, a performing art then in the midst of metamorphosis. Not only did movements change but also the codes of the genre. The ingenious sculptor of bronzes and marbles was captivated by a performance of Cambodian dance during the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle. He began modelling small figures of dancers, exploring all choreographic styles, especially those freest in expression. Rodin saw dance as a new challenge. Already sublimated by the sculptor’s artistry, the body was enhanced still further by dance movements. Whether slow or jerky, but always exact, the movements seem to come to life before our eyes. The remarkable drawings used in the master sculptor’s research are displayed alongside the series of sculptures, adding further substance to this exhibition. One may only guess the hours he spent modelling the figures in these sketches. One art form observes another and becomes a witness. (M.P.)
7 April-22 July 2018 77, rue de Varenne, Paris 7e, musee-rodin.fr
Auguste Rodin 1. Assemblage : Two Dance Movements A, plaster, circa 1911. 2. Dance Movement C, terracotta, circa 1911. 3. Moulds, plaster coated in lubricant, 1911.