Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)

Cambodian Dancer

1906

Pencil, stumping,watercolour, gouache soft lead pencil highlights on paper

H. 34.8 cm ; W. 26.7 cm

D.4455

On the subject of the Cambodian dancers – the novelty and perfection of whose movements elated and moved him profoundly – Rodin spoke with remarkably piercing insight:

 

“…They have even found a new movement, of which I was unaware: the jolts their body gives as it moves downward. And then their great strength lies in the fact that they keep their legs permanently bent, like a spring box, from which they can bounce or rise upwards as they wish, make themselves taller, at any given moment. It is a movement all of their own, unknown in the Antique and to us: when the arms are stretched out in the shape of a cross, they make a movement that snakes from one hand to the other, via the shoulder blades.This unknown,hitherto-unseen movement belongs to the Far East, i.e. when the movement of the left arm forms a concave curve, the other forms a convex curve, and they bring these arms into play, in a movement that darts past the shoulder blades.” (Judrin, 2002).

 

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