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Matisses Dance Henry Matisse illustrates five women dancing around in a circular pattern in his painting Dance The nude fair-skinned women all have slender bodies with black hair pulled back on their shoulders They look very carefree and alive dancing around with joined hands The tallest woman looks as if she is the leader because she is not holding hands with the woman on her right Matisse may have done this to show where the circle begins This painting is very simple and consists of very few colors The two loudest colors are green being the grass that the women dance on and blue that is the sky in the background The two could also represent the world Natalalie Safirs poem about Matissess painting is very well written and describes the painting in great detail and life She describes the happy carefree women as being joyful sisters because they look alike Focusing on the breaking of the circle the speaker says the tallest woman is pulling the circle She also notes in the last stanza that the girl being pulled at the end of the circle is frightened because she may lose her grip The speaker assumes that if the girl does not grab on the circle will be broken and a black sun will swirl from that space Also according to Safir the green mound of which the ladies are dancing on is grass My initial interpretation of the painting was that it was symbolizing sisterhood It is clearly evident that their bodies portray pride in being a woman Also it looked to me like the women were dancing on top of the world thus implying that they were celebrating dominance of the earth After reading the poem and studying the painting more carefully however I now feel that the women are practicing some ritual or sance The last stanza says that if the circle is broken a black sun swirls from that
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