Betti Franceschi is a painter and sculptor with a decades-long interest in dancers. In 1983, she went to Paris to revel in her daughter Antonia dancing with New York City Ballet there. At the season gala, the audience was as thrilling as the performance on stage. However, the Parisian women in their couture paled in comparison to the retired ballet étoiles in attendance. Exactly thirty years later, at three in the morning Franceschi was jolted awake in her bed by the realization that she had to photograph those étoiles. It turned out that the project was realized with mostly American stars, and not in Paris but in Franceschi’s New York studio. The "Ageless Dancers" photographs are about great dancers’ expressive inner line and the technique that survives diminished athleticism—the artist’s joy triumphant over time.

'The black-on-black negates irrelevant mass and articulates the line of movement that is each dancer's signature. My fundamental motivation is to refute the youth-enthralled ageism of the American culture we live in. People are living longer and staying engaged and vibrant well into and past the old rocking-chair decades. These are icons for my generation. I am 87.'

A new volume of Ageless Dancers photographs is available now.
Please visit my publications page for details or to listen to my episode of the 'Dance Talk' Podcast.

Ageless Dancers was exhibited at Saratoga Arts Center.
Read the accompanying article here!

Video by Michel Negroponte.

©Betti Franceschi - All rights reserved. All images are protected by international copyright.
No image is to be used in any manner without permission.