VIRNA TOPPI – PRIMA BALLERINA TEATRO DELLA SCALA DI MILANO
This photograph immortalizes Virna Toppi, Prima Ballerina at the La Scala theatre in Milan, as she hovers in the air almost weightless, light and graceful but not fragile: the pose fixed in the photograph is artistic and yet exudes pure strength; it shows elegance, all the while concealing any apparent effort. The human figure stands out graphically against the only patch of light in a sky laden with ominous clouds. The earth, tamed by the hand of man, burdened with gloom, is welded to the clouds by two side wings. A central path leads deep inside the scene, guiding the eye toward the dancer surrounded by elements (air, earth) tending toward darkness. She defeats the force of gravity, and becomes a star radiating light into the world. The author, Raoul Iacometti, born in Milan in 1961, is an eclectic photographer with multiple interests ranging from social to artistic to commercial photography. Ballet is one of Iacometti’s favourite subjects and has been the focus of his work for many years. Taken offstage, this fascinating discipline is embedded in the human world in an original way.