Thematic photo album for the International Dance Day "Art Deco Dancers"

The art of dance hardly ever live on for centuries in the form of clearly identified evidence that can last for centuries. Figurines of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco epoch, in particular, give us an idea of both the technique of their manufacturing and the peculiarities of frozen movements of the early 20th century. In dance culture, this period is often characterized by the words "in search of style", since everything old was destroyed, and the renewed was still vague and unclear. Dances, reflected and immortalized in small statuary are important for understanding the era; they are kind of a bridge between the trivial world and fantasy world.

To mark the International Dance Day we have prepared a photo album with the images of dancers of the Art Deco era.

Art Deco (from the name of the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs ...) is the style of luxury and glamour. Art Deco style is the quintessence of the mood of that time, captured in the masterpieces of decorative and applied arts, in fashion, music and dance. Art Deco is pronouncedly decorative, yet profoundly functional, harmoniously and naturally combining luxury and elegance - it could not remain indifferent to the dynamics of the dance. The world was conquered by jazz, foxtrot and Charleston. Dancing crowds filled ballrooms, bars and restaurants in the evenings. It seemed that everyone was dancing, at any time and everywhere.

Dancing inspired Demetre Chiparus to create the works that brought him the fame of the greatest sculptor of the Art Deco era. Ballets Russes by Sergei Diaghilev had a huge impact on the development of the style. This outstanding cultural phenomenon determined many styles of art. Interest in the eastern exoticism swept the world. Transparent, smoky and richly embroidered fabrics, oriental ornaments, turbans, egrets, feathers, shawls came to fashion. The works of this time, featuring dances of the Art Deco era, presented in the museum Collection exposition, were also influenced by the art of Ancient Egypt (to a very high degree), the art of Ancient Mesopotamia (their influence is associated with active excavations in these regions) and art of the Far East.

In order to capture in bronze the plasticity and fluidity of the dance, its character and mood, the iridescence of fabrics, the richness of theatrical costumes, the traditional techniques of patination and gilding of bronze casting were not enough for Chiparus. He used translucent varnishes and colored patination over silver and gold backgrounds. Combined with ivory, from which faces and exposed parts of the body were made, and rare types of decorative stones to create plinths of complex geometric shapes, the new technique gave a stunning effect. The impeccably plastic and perfect dancers of Chiparus froze in spectacular poses, there are also emancipated ladies among them, we see short stylish haircuts and dances fashionable at that time: tango, Charleston and shimmy. Fashion always reflects the society, and since in the Art Deco era dancing was almost the main secular entertainment, much in women's attire followed it. There were no high heels then - shoes, suitable for dynamic foxtrot and tango were in fashion.

In the factory, which belonged to the outstanding sculptor Ferdinand Preiss, very realistic images of dancing girls were made of ivory, they were dressed in flowing fabric dresses, they stood on pedestals made of marble or onyx. Preiss also worked with bronze. Glass, mirror, metal, leather, marble, velvet, ivory, jade, ebony – these are the signs of the Art Deco style.

Art Deco sculptures are presented in the museum Collection section “Sculptures”.