It’s been over a century since French painter Edgar Degas lived and died. This self portrait of Degas is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York City.
More than any other of the great artist from the impressionist era, Degas was fascinated by the powerful and exciting world of ballet. Degas was masterly at capturing in his paintings the flowing movements of ballerina’s on stage, candid poses of young dancers waiting in the wings and in rehearsal halls and dance classes.
Although Degas painted other subject matter, Degas was enchanted by what he called a “fairy like illusion of the ballet”. He admired ballerinas hard work which often the public never witnessed.
It wasn’t that long ago ballet performances were only enjoyed by the rich and famous and rarely did the underprivileged experience the beauty and wonder of ballet. Thanks to movies and television the public is much more aware of the beauty, hard work and discipline it takes to become a prima ballerina.
I’m an admirer of Edgar Degas paintings not for just his painting style, but also for the beauty and the grace of ballet. Live performances of ballet along with any movies or tv with ballet is one of my favorite visual experiences.
Although I never dreamed of becoming a ballerina, I always found ballet classes and ballet based workouts my favorite. In recent years, my go to workout is, Mary Helen Bower’s, Ballet Beautiful dvd tapes.
Mary Bowers is the prima ballerina who trained Natalie Portman for the 2010 movie, Black Swan. What I love most about Bower’s workout routine is I can do 15 minutes or more of Ballet Beautiful workouts in the privacy of my living room. The workouts are great for toning, elongating your body and just stretching to gain better mobility and balance. Doing this workout gives me energy and lifts my spirit.
If you’re looking to gain strength and quickly tone your body, you don’t have to be female, or join a gym or even be a prima ballerina to enjoy the benefits of Ballet Beautiful.