A new musical and an exhibit celebrate artist Edgar Degas and his ballet model for Little Dancer this fall in Washington.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts | Part fact, part fiction, and set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet, a world premiere Kennedy Center musical is inspired by the story of Marie van Goethem, a young ballerina who posed for Edgar Degas and became, inadvertently, the most famous dancer in the world. Torn by her family's poverty, her debt to the artist, and the lure of wealthy men, she struggles to keep her place in the corps de ballet—a girl on the verge of womanhood, caught between the conflicting demands of life and art.
Degas's sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen continues to captivate as one of the National Gallery of Art's most popular sculptures—and now the Kennedy Center brings its fascinating story to life in what is unquestionably the landmark event of the new D.C. theater season. Starring four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines (Gypsy, The Heidi Chronicles) as Edgar Degas, three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins, The Music Man) as adult Marie, and New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Tiler Peck as young Marie, the musical is being penned by the Tony Award–winning team of book and lyrics writer Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Rocky), with direction and choreography by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Oklahoma!).
National Gallery of Art | The sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen is presented with 13 additional objects from the Gallery's collection, including the monumental pastel Ballet Scene (c. 1907), monotypes, and smaller original statuettes by Degas that explore the theme of ballet. The exhibition also includes the oil painting The Dance Class (c. 1873) and the pastel The Ballet (c. 1880), both from the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Little Dancer at the Kennedy Center
October 25-November 30, 2014
Little Dancer by Degas at the National Gallery of Art
October 5, 2014-January 11, 2015