The Last Dance #I, Denver 2012
12 archival pigment ink on archival cotton-rag paper
50 x 74.6 cm (each)
The 12 photographs collectively called The Last Dance 'I, Denver 2012 are snapshots of a twirling dance. In an unusual combination, an Arab belly dancer performs the Snake Dance by Loïe Fuller, a pioneer of modern choreography in Europe and the United States. She reproduces swirling movements enhanced by wide swaths of golden fabric with ever-changing shapes.
Just as the dancer disappears under the whirling fabrics, the Egyptian photographer Youssef Nabil poetically expresses his dismay at the disappearance of a long tradition of belly dancing in his native country. Belly dancing was once respected and valued but since the revolutionary events of 2011, it has been deemed immoral and gradually banned in Egyptian clubs and theatres.
Acquired by the Pinault Collection, The Last Dance 'I, Denver 2012 is being presented for the first time at Nabil's 2020 solo show “Once Upon A Dream” at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.