Elie Nadelman carved this couple dancing the tango, a ballroom dance that first appeared in 1900 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nadelman carved each figure from a single block of cherry wood and painted their hands, faces, and the man’s shirt. For this sculpture, Nadelman chose a moment in the dance when the couple separates, perhaps as they prepare for their next move. Even though the couple’s hands and heads come close, they do not touch.
Put on some music and find a dance partner! Take turns performing an original dance for each other. While your partner is dancing, make a pencil sketch inspired by your partner’s movements. Use a variety of marks, such as curved, wavy, zigzag, or squiggly lines, dots, dashes, and scribbles. Next, do a short dance together, then each make your own drawing inspired by your dance. Compare your work. How are your sketches similar? How are they different?
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