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Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Hippo Ballerina isn't the first NYC hippo!

It's been nearly three weeks since Bissera Antikarov posted an image on her FB Page of NYC's hippo ballerina featured in the photos atop this entry which I took this past Thursday, when I went to visit the statue.

The first image of mine features a view of the hippo ballerina that is similar to the photo that Bissera Antikarov posted. And the following picture of the dancer,

features her gazing at the Lincoln Center building where the ballet is performed. I imagined her to be wistful about opportunities to perform there, but the sculptor, Bjørn Okholm Skaarup, had a different character in mind,

which he describes in a video posted below.

And a web-page for Smithsonian states "If Hippo Ballerina reminds you of something, she’s supposed to. Not only does she harken back to the “Dance of the Hours” sequence in Disney’s Fantasia, which featured dancing elephants, crocodiles and, yes, hippos, but she’s also partially based on a much-talked about sculpture from the late 19th century. Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen incensed critics when it was unveiled in 1881, in part because of its realistic not idealistic depiction of its bony, almost impossibly young subject. The sculpture was put in storage after it was panned and was only rediscovered after Degas died 36 years later."

Moreover, Mother Nature Network writes "the sculpture also pays homage to some of the most well-known dancing hippos in pop culture: The 'Dance of the Hours' sequence in Disney’s 1940s animated film, 'Fantasia' in which a bevy of dancing hippo servants attend to their boss, Hyacinth Hippo, and battle a menacing gang of crocodiles." (And they include the following video.)

It was truly a joy to see this sculpture and I thank Bissera Antikarov for bringing it to my attention. I live very near to Dante Park but could've easily missed the opportunity as I usually walk on the opposite side of the street (this is a common way for New Yorkers to miss things).

In any event, there is another hippo who I've seen in NYC, and that is Happy Hippo (seen in the next picture),

who has been represented in balloon format at The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Additionally, a hippo figurine has visited my home over the years and she can be seen in the following photograph.

When it comes to picking hip hippos, I would certainly include the ones here!

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