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Degas and the Dancer Review by Anissa DeGrasse

Devine Entertainment Corporation

Degas and the Dancer is one movie in a series entitled The Artists' Specials each produced by Devine Entertainment. Each film in the series features an artist in a critical period of their lives. This film is set in 1874 Paris after the death of Mr. Degas' father when his life seems to be spiraling downward. He is drowning in debt, loosing his eyesight, and searching for inspiration. Degas' finds that inspiration in a dance studio in a would-be ballerina named Marie.

Marie has lost her father, her mother is a laundress and is forced to work many long hours in order to afford ballet lessons for Marie and her sister. Marie's mother decides to allow her sister to continue the lessons because they do not have the money for Marie to continue the expensive lessons. Mr. Degas' offers to pay for her lessons in exchange for a few hours of modeling for his paintings. Marie does not enjoy posing for Mr. Degas' but her mother encourages her to continue because they need the extra income. During their time together they become friends and he inspires her to see herself not as others see her and to never give up on her dreams and she persuades him to continue his art even though he receives several unfavorable reviews.

The film is a wonderful and heartfelt portrayal that brings forth true emotions and allows you to peek into this trying period of Degas' life. This would be a wonderful addition to any movie collection because even though the film is short it is full of inspiration and encouragement for our lives. It imparts this knowledge with wonderful characters, beautiful sets and entertaining dialogue.

Be sure to browse the Devine Entertainment website. There you will find out about this film and others in this series. They have also produced other series about the lives of composers and inventors.

-- Anissa DeGrasse, Contributing Senior Coordinator for State Information, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine LLC