Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Dance
Time Required: 3–5–Part Lesson
Three 50-minute class periods
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education Staff

Performing Arts in Art

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Glossary (RTF, 255KB)
Print and Web Resources (RTF, 247KB)
National and California State Standards (PDF, 827KB)

Lesson Overview

Students will learn about axial movements and locomotor movements by discussing dancers depicted in a drawing and photograph. They will then practice combining axial and locomotor movements. They will describe how artists depict a dancer's motion in drawing and photography. They will also analyze how an artist creates movement and emphasis through contrast, composition, and leading lines, and then experiment with photography to capture motion in dance.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• understand how visual art can capture the motion of dance.
• describe and demonstrate various types of axial and locomotor movements.
• experiment with contrast, composition, and line to capture motion with photography.
• create blurred motion effects with photography.


• Reproduction of Ballet Dancers Rehearsing (p. 25) by Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas
• Reproduction of Juliet Dancing by Man Ray
• Background Information and Questions for Teaching about the drawing and photograph
• Student Handout: "Pair Share: Exploring a Photograph"
• Drop cloth or butcher paper
• Digital or disposable cameras
• Clear and red acetate
• Student Handout: "Photo Assignment"
• Information and activities in the "Understanding Formal Analysis" section on the Getty website

Lesson Steps

Download the complete lesson by clicking on the "Download this lesson" icon above.

Glossary Terms:
Words in bold on these pages and in the lesson are defined in the glossary for this curriculum (see "Performing Arts in Art Contents" links above).

Juliet Dancing / Man Ray
Juliet Dancing, Man Ray, 1945, © Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP