Nympheas

Nympheas

The photograph shows London Contemporary Dance Theatre in Robert Cohan's Nympheas in 1976. Choreographers get ideas from many different sources – from watching people in the street, television programmes, books or films. Often the inspiration comes from other visual sources, especially painting and sculpture. In Nympheas it was Monet's famous paintings of waterlilies. For the music, Cohan used Debussy piano pieces which perfectly reflected the impressionistic style of the paintings. Norberto Chiesa's two-tiered set was an important part of the production. The dancers work on two levels, almost on a 'wall', allowing Cohan to create friezes of great beauty. The dancers' dappled leotards, the shifting light, and rippling movement created a theatrical parallel to the original paintings.