Deux danseuses is a superbly executed example of one of Edgar
Degas’ favourite subjects: the backstage world of the ballet which
existed beyond the public gaze. Degas preferred these behind-the scenes
depictions of the ballet to the glamourous crowd and theatre. He portrays two ballerinas in the wings, resting and self-absorbed
before making their graceful entrance. Degas brings the viewer close to the dancers by
cropping the composition at ankle height, creating an exhilarating sense
of proximity to the figures.