This week I would like to share with you one of my favourite paintings. It is called “The Dance” and is by a Portuguese painter called Paula Rego.
I love it so much it is on my living room wall so I think about it very often. These are the questions and thoughts I have when I look at it.
I wonder why the people are dancing, are they celebrating or commemorating an event? Maybe they are dancing deep into the night after a party and feeling tired.
What music are they dancing to? Traditional Portuguese folk music or a waltz? I wish I could hear the painting.
I can hear the sea and feel the warm night air when I look at this painting. I imagine I can smell the salt in the air and a delicate fragrance from the nearby pine forest.
They all look deep in thought, they have melancholy expressions on their faces and look lost in their own worlds. What are they all thinking about?
What is that building on the cliff in the distance? It looks quite scary towering over them and adds drama to the painting and a feeling of menace or of something unknown.
I think about the women’s thick and swooshing skirts moving elegantly to the music. Are they going to dance all night or is this their last dance before going to bed?
Do the people know each other? Are they from the same village or part of a family.
Can you find the pregnant lady?
I like the atmosphere it creates, the dark shades of blue create a dramatic effect and the moonlight gives it a dreamy quality.
It is a narrative painting, that is one that tells a story so it would be a great prompt to start writing a story with.
I hope you like this painting as much as I do and feel curious enough to see more of Paula Rego’s paintings. She is really brilliant and many of her paintings relate to childhood, her memories of Portugal and fairy tales.
The Museum of 2020
I would love you to hold onto the art work you have created in lockdown as I want to create a small museum about 2020 in the school. Please keep hold of the art you have made so I can put it into the museum.