Photo by Mariinsky theatre. Maria Khoreva and Xander Paris
POSTED ON05.04.2021
Art historians claim that Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam”, the famous fresco from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, is one of the most copied and imitated pieces of art. No wonder it found its way to ballet, too.

The famous Russian impresario Sergey Diaghilev was a great art connoisseur and insisted that everyone in his team should go to the museums as much as possible to learn from the great masters of the past. That is how the iconic hand gesture from the fresco – the God’s forefinger is about to touch that of Adam’s – appeared in a ballet that was created for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes by George Balanchine.

“Apollo” (1928) was the 84th (!) ballet of the 24-year-old choreographer and was dedicated to the life of the Greek god, who was a patron of music and arts. In this ballet, Apollo is playing with three Muses and on the basis of their variations he decides that Terpsichore, goddess of dance, is the best one. It is with her that he dances pas de deux starting with the famous gesture. It is a gesture that conveys love, symbolises the start of a new life and teaches us to find inspiration in everything we see around us.

Photo by Mariinsky theatre.
In the photo Maria Khoreva and Xander Paris.

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