Caught in the Limelight
The cancan dancers
Caught in the limelight
Night after night
Creating an illusion….
The textile most often chosen by dancers as women were drawn to the stage to make their livelihood was silk. In my research of the cancan dance, I realized that the threads connecting dancers from one continent to the other, were the silk fibers reeled from cocoons, creating women’s dresses down through the centuries. Traditionally paintings of dancers and their costumes are painted on canvas with oils. In this series of paintings I chose silk to bring the viewer closer to the experience of women constantly facing public criticism, just to earn a living away from domestic tedium.
La Chahut (cancan dance) originated in the local taverns and dancehalls in Paris, France.
Like many young girls, I dared myself to dance in a local stage production for pioneer days, in our case, a cancan dance. Naturally I wondered how women who lived as young dancers could survive the real life hardships, ostracism and criticism. In these art works I wanted to show the beauty of the women, their natural artistic dance, but that their lives were as delicate as moths, if they danced too close to the limelight, or ventured beyond the footlights.
Limited Edition of ‘Dance Fever’ – Available as a Fine Art Giclée