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GISELLE - Luba Kunakova

For over twenty years, Giselle was a featured soloist with Kirov Ballet. When she danced, her delicate grace and determinate strength were said to evoke images of a vibrant Margot Fonteyn. Today she carries on the classical ballet traditions that brought her fame, teaching with the Vaganova Ballet Academy, school of the Kirov, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Like many portraits of the Russian Arkangels, a likeness of this prima ballerina was captured during the Kirov Ballet's performance of Giselle in Detroit, in 1992. The coincidental presence of additional clay, conveniently on hand, provided all of the impetus needed to convince this gracious dancer to model for an Arkangel.

This portrait of Giselle captures her in a relaxed and easy first ballet position. Eternally lit upon her face is a smile of sceptical curiosity, showing all of the secret amusement and enjoyment she harbours for the delicious process of life.

 

"To Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love all pray in their distress
and to these virtues of delight return their thankfulness."

-- William Blake


2001. The Arkangel Project.