Dance Paintings

These figurative based works are studies of dance, movement or gesture. Inspired by contemporary and classical dance, music, photography and sculpture. I work with the dancer in life size compositions in which we enter as viewers to move around in a virtual three dimensional space. Originally Inspired by Matisse and Degas, I became aware of my own need to animate the canvas and retain a sculptural quality. The paintings are worked up in layers of observed movement, trying to express the essence of the movement and the dancer. Very little is obscured, so that the progress of the painter and the dancer can be observed. They are painted from life, using the inspiration and styles of individual contemporary and classical dancers .These abstracted and complex figure paintings aim to celebrate the body and express movement of the human figure in its purist form.

“Lost in an exhilarating choreography, David Cottingham’s dancers celebrate the joy of movement and rhythm, Sometimes in flaming compositions worked up in successive layers, reflecting a whole sequence of progressing moves, sometimes in reduced studies of a single pose, the shape accentuated by colour: David Cottingham’s dancers are filling the canvas, conquering it by their continuous rhythmical steps and gestures, taking their places in space and time”. Barbara Goebels-Cataneo.

“Dance takes abstraction further. It has no physical form. It comes from what the dancers do…… it has no objective reality. Its reality is virtual not physical”  Candida Smith

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” Martha Graham

Dance Prelude, A Whiter Shade

Dance Prelude, A Whiter Shade

Tracing the Soul

Tracing the Soul

Time After Time

Time After Time

Dance Suite

Dance Suite

The Golden Season lo res

The Golden Season

Tango Soledad lo res

Tango Soledad

Sun Dancer lo res

Sun Dancer

Spirit Dancer lo res

Spirit Dancer

Samba Margarida lo res

Samba Margarida

Pirouette en Pointe lo res

Pirouette en Pointe

Pas de Deux, Presage lo res

Pas de Deux, Presage

Nocturne lo res


Night Moves lo res

Night Moves

Grand Jete lo res

Grand Jete

Golden Dancer lo res

Golden Dancer

Embrasser et Partir Diptych lo res

Embrasser et Partir Diptych

Danse au Clair de Lune lo res

Danse au Clair de Lune

Dance Triptych lo res

Dance Triptych

Dance Transition lo res

Dance Transition

Dance Diptych lo res

Dance Diptych

Aurora, towards Sunrise lo res

Aurora, Towards Sunrise

IMG_0460 lo res

Adagio Sostenuto

Lost in the Dream 220/210 cm

Lost in the Dream

Sade Dancing

Sade Dancing


Galleries: Dance Paintings.