Title: LITTLE DANCER
Part of series: Classical Themes / Girls With Guns
Produced in: 2017
Material: multicolor composite 3D print
Print height: 70 cm
Edition: 8 unique pieces
Extra: This design is inspired by The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer (French: La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans), a c. 1881 sculpture by Edgar Degas. The sculpture by Degas depicts a Belgian girl named Marie van Goethem, a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet dance school. The exact relationship between Marie van Goethem and Edgar Degas is a matter of debate. This contemporary little dancer is holding a revolver behind her back.
At the Paris Opera at the end of the 19th century, apprentices began their instruction between the ages of five and eight, progressing to the corps de ballet and through the various stages of coryphee, petir sulet, and premier sujer and ultimately to the level of eroile, according to their talent, dedication, and success in attracting patronage. It was common for the Petits Rats (Little Rats) to seek protectors among the wealthy visitors of the opera. As they proved their aptitude and physical suitability, the girls embarked on an increasingly demanding regime of daily exercise and occasional subordinate appearances on the stage. There was considerable ambivalence among admirers of the ballet about the effects of the punishing routine on the physique of the young dancer. The very exercises that prepared the “rats” for their profession were seen to prejudice their glamour, one English writer observing that the “effects of this artificial existence… were painfully visible… their cheeks hollow and pale… their limbs nipped and wasted.”