“Charles Kapsner captures the graceful athleticism of a dancer’s body. This collaboration has given the North Carolina Dance Theatre artists an opportunity to experience first hand how art inspires art.”

— Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux
President and Artistic Director, Charlotte Ballet

The ballerina unites both the portrait and figure in an enduring tribute to dance, and dancers. My first real inspiration for the ballet came in 1973 when, at the famed La Scala Opera House in Milan Italy, I was spellbound by the performance of Swan Lake which featured legendary dancers Rudolph Nureyev and Carla Fracci. I had no idea that years later I would begin my own work with dance—particularly ballet—as a major theme.

I have collaborated with local and national dance companies, sketching, drawing and painting dancers from the Minnesota Ballet, Saint Paul City Ballet and famed Charlotte Ballet (formerly North Carolina Dance Theatre). It has been a great inspiration and energy-filled experience working with these people.

My goal with the work is to incorporate the sheer physical presence of the dancers, composing them in somewhat contemporary, yet raw settings, so one can view their physical presence, athleticism and stunning beauty. Through my use of modern props—boxes, platforms and other architectural motifs—the dancer is showcased in an interplay between established norms of ballet and contemporary ideology.