Dance On Degas’ Model Ballerina

A ballet based on the life of the model who posed for Degas’ bronze ballerina has opened at the Paris Opera. “La Petite Danseuse, with a cast of 60, pays tribute to the model who posed for La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans, the only sculpture Degas exhibited in his lifetime. The bronze in a white tutu is in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.” Recent research about the model indicates that she was a dancer “brought up in a poverty-stricken family of prostitutes and was jailed soon after posing for Degas, at the age of 14, in 1881.”