Interview with Alexandra Gerstein, curator of ‘Rodin and Dance: the Essence of Movement’

Dr Alexandra Gerstein, curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Courtauld Gallery, has curated the new exhibition ‘Rodin and Dance: the Essence of Movement’ in collaboration with the Musée Rodin, Paris. The display focusses on Auguste Rodin’s (1840-1917) intimate research and production around dance moves. Although the master’s workshop was extremely popular and prolific at the turn of the twentieth century, a significant part of his oeuvre consisted of drawings and small scale sculptures which were made as experimental drafts to capture expressive movements and acrobatic poses. In fact, Rodin seems to have been obsessed with the Royal Cambodian dance troupe when they visited Paris and was also close to great dancers of the time such as Loïe Fuller (1862-1928) and Isadora Duncan (1877-1927). While many of the dance drawings were exhibited during his lifetime, the sculptures were seen only by his very closest circle of friends and supporters. They may be considered his last major project, reflecting how the final years of his life were a period of playful experimentation.

Dr Alexandra Gurstein, previously educated at the Ecole du Louvre, Paris and the Courtauld Institut