Degas, Blue Dancers
As we discussed in class, this painting is an example of how Degas painted many works with a composition resembling that of a photograph. The way the dancers' bodies are not completely on the canvas is a style most people are used to seeing in something similar to a snapshot. The highlighting on the dancers' shoulders creates a sharp accenuation on top of the soft brushwork Degas used to paint the bodies of the dancers. The close angle makes the viewer wonder what else is going on around the dancers. The use of the color blue is rather interesting and helps set the mood of the painting.
The universal blue tint that is throughout the painting seems to create an opposite atmoshphere than the viewer is accustomed to associating with dance. The shade of blue along with the overall haziness of the painting blend together to create a quiet, somber atmosphere: the somberness of work. Because of the varied body positions of the dancers, it is almost as if they are about to get ready to perform; all their grueling work and practice is about to pay off. This "behind the scenes" look helps shed light into how dance is a form of work for these girls. Most of them danced so they could help support their families. Although I'm sure most of the girls enjoyed dancing, it was a form of labor for them.