Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Degas at the Opera

I haven't had a night out in a long while, with my husband's chef duties translating into me having full-time parenting duties. But when I do get the opportunity to go out, I make sure it's something really worthwhile. And this time, it definitely was. 

A friend who is a regular at the Musee d'Orsay knows my daughter and I love ballet, so invited us to go with her to a special evening at the temporary Degas exhibit. The dancers from the Opera de Paris would be there. We knew there would be some sort of performance so we expected to sit in the auditorium and watch. But it was so much more.

In the ballroom, dancers posed like the ones in Degas' paintings and danced, a mix of ballet and modern. Principal dancer Stephane Bullion turned the tables on the audience -- dancing in the auditorium as we stood on the stage.

At the barre, dancers performed a scene right out of one of the artist's paintings:

And the beautiful dancer we saw at first from behind, showed us that... 

sometimes, things aren't exactly as they seem -- but they are just as beautiful:

And throughout the evening, the dancers, one by one, gracefully descended the grand staircase in costume, undressed and left their costumes on the floor, then made their way back up the steps and into the darkness. Until the grand finale, when all costumes left a blanket of color on the ground and the dancers stood proudly, silhouettes of elegance and artistry:

As a bit of additional fun, we got to try on costumes used in opera house productions. And of course, attending such a show with a nine-year-old ballet student is particularly great, because for her, it was beyond magical. 

This production only happened on two nights, but if you're in the Paris area, you can still see the special Degas exhibit. They've brought in Degas' works from galleries and private collections around the world. I'm sure I'll stop by again before they pack things up in January. 

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