The painting is one of the most significant pieces the artist had created to showcase his desire and infatuation with the arts. The painting illustrates the acrobatic performer Miss La La hanging into a rope by her teeth. A captivating scene Edgar Degas most probably saw in person and felt the absolute desire to illustrate onto canvas. The scene captures the vast elements of excitement and live experienced when attending a show.
While Edgar Degas is well known for being seized by the beautiful art forms of ballerinas, he now found another muse to base his work on. The stunning piece showcases the artist's absolute desire to illustrate the performing arts in whatever form they fall under. The artist often enjoyed portraying these striking images to truly grasp the viewer’s attention. As evident through the title of the artwork, the performer Miss La La clenches the rope with her teeth as she looks onto the ceiling. Edgar Degas commonly showcases Parisians, and occasionally Russians, it vibrant to see him portray someone with a darker skin tone of a different background.
Miss La La’s back is gently arched as her right arm is clenched in a first towards the ceiling. Her left arm hangs behind her back in an illusion that she’s holding herself up. Her knees are gently bent as she points her shoes towards the floor. The fascinating image is meant to symbolize the woman’s immense strength able to hold her body weight through the use of her teeth. Since these performance outings were quite expensive, only the upper class were lucky enough to be able to witness such a magical performance. The brilliance of the impressionist movement continued with Absinthe Drinker, The Balcony and The Fifer by Edouard Manet.
Degas was immensely captivated by the event as it inspired him to create the sensual piece. The woman is dressed in light pink and white attire. Her blouse is ruffled in layers adding movement to her body. The attire seems to extend into ruffled pants cut above the thigh. The performer is blaring immense skin towards the crowd as her flesh is on full display. On her feet, white ankle boots give her support through the acts. The viewer is able to see the rest of the rope fall towards the floor, in which another performer is most likely pulling her towards the ceiling. It’s unknown how high the woman is, however based on the perspective of the work it seems that she is at least 3 meters above the ground.
One of the stunning elements of the piece is the graceful form in which the woman’s body falls. The other captivating piece is the background of the grand theatre the woman is in. The large orange walls fill the ceiling in a dome form. Grey-teal arches fill the supporting structure towards the centre of the room. A few dark windows in an Art Deco feel cover the perimeter of the upper level of the stage. These stunning bright orange oil colours add life and excitement to the piece. The tangerine shades lighten and darken in certain areas, adding depth to the piece. While it’s still an impressionist painting, elements of realist characteristics are evident throughout.