Degas did mire than picture the ballet in its fleeting, ecstatic moments. He observed, with trenchant realism, the hours of preparation in the classroom and the movement of dancers, adjusting their slippers, stretching their muscles, practicing their positions at the bar. He revealed the awkwardness of these performers, finding a new beauty in such truth.
This is a typical snapshot view of a number of seemingly unrelated actions fitted into s design. Degas has pushed his four figures to the right and contrasted the filmy gauzy costumes of his dancers with the street clothes of the other women. Movement is suggested by the slanting loor and diagonals of wall and bench and by cutting of the right-hand dancer. The clear, revealing atmosphere bathes the scene in exquisite light, to which the touches of colour in the ribbons and hats and costumes contribute their share.