Little Dancer, Big Show 

All art forms have the power to inspire — and some art has the ability to provoke not just thoughts of appreciation and awe, but also inspire the creation of other art. Such is the case with ballet. The French impressionist artist Edgar Degas spent much time and creative energy studying and painting dancers, and while these works are lovely representations of ballerinas strengthening and practicing away, the two-dimensional form can't completely capture the muscle tone, the posture and the poise inherent to those trained in dance. The artist turned to sculpture perhaps to better represent what he observed, creating several beloved works, including The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer. Just as this sculpture was inspired by ballet, ballet is inspired by the artwork each holiday season at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; 314-725-6555 or COCA's Ballet Eclectica imagines a world in which that young dancer comes to life and experiences other artworks through dance. This year, she pas de chats her way through music and art from the United States through the ages, and some holiday-themed tunes are even part of the show. The Little Dancer: An American Tour is staged at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday (December 10 through 12); tickets cost $14 to $18.
Dec. 10-12, 2010

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