“Ballet Dancer” – 1982

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When one thinks of the movement of ballet, it is the legs that come to mind – and, for the ballerina, the toes. In Hirshman’s 1982 piece “Ballet Dancer,” despite the en pointe position being so well replicated by nail files and on-end peanut shells, it is the potential of spin in the arms – the fluid hanger curve of the left and the crossed-thread arc of the right over a tilted head – where motion and grace live. It is a simple freeze-frame of a piece where the dancer is already unarming in a whirl.


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