The Last Dance #II, Denver 2012


12 archival pigment ink on archival cotton-rag paper

50 x 74.6 cm (each)

United by their kinetic force, the 12 panels of The Last Dance 'II, Denver 2012 capture a belly dancer's twirling movements in time and space. Handling huge golden veils with rods, in "one last dance", the artist says, she imitates the beating wings of a butterfly desperately trying to resist death.

This sequence belongs to the series The Last Dance, which stages the swan song of the Arab belly dance, whose gradual disappearance in Egypt is lamented by the Egyptian photographer Youssef Nabil. The nudity and sensuality of the dancer's body merges with the shimmering drapery, a poetic metaphor for the disgrace of a tradition once respected in Egypt.

Acquired by the Pinault Collection, The Last Dance 'II, 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.