Photo Courtesy Elliott Arkin.

Tiler Peck Has Been Immortalized as a Sculpture—with Proceeds Going Towards Cancer Research

You can find Tiler Peck just about anywhere these days—onstage at New York City Ballet, in commercials, on "The Ellen Degeneres Show." And let's not forget starring in 2014's Little Dancer, a musical that followed the creation of Edgar Degas' famous sculpture, "Little Dancer Aged 14." Peck played Marie van Goethem, the young Paris Opéra Ballet School student who modeled for Degas. Now, she's reprising the role—er, her likeness is—for a good cause. Visual artist Elliott Arkin has created a series of limited edition sculptures of Peck as the Little Dancer. Proceeds will go to Dance Against Cancer, the annual benefit concert for the American Cancer Society produced by NYCB principal Daniel Ulbricht and Manhattan Youth Ballet programming director Erin Fogarty (both of whom lost a parent to the disease). Peck will also be part of the event's star-studded cast; all of the dancers donate their time, and most perform in memory of a loved one.


A few months ago, Peck underwent a full body scan in the famous Degas pose, which Arkin then turned into a prototype. The resin-cast, hand-painted sculpture will be unveiled at this year's DAC performance on May 7; only 100 of the 12-inch statuettes—numbered and signed by both artists—will be available, although two-foot bronze versions can be special ordered. "Tiler Peck as the Little Dancer" is the first in a series of works Arkin will create for DAC that place today's ballet stars in legendary works of art. (It'll be exciting to see which dancer and work of art he'll recreate next!)

Ulbricht and Fogarty unroll a banner of courage at the 2016 Dance Against Cancer. Photo by Christopher Duggan, Courtesy DAC.

The sculpture isn't the only new development at this year's event. Dance Against Cancer, which has raised $1.1 million for the American Cancer Society since its inception in 2010, has grown so successful that Ulbricht and Fogarty have secured both a host (MTV's "Catfish" star Nev Schulman) and a larger venue: Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. The lineup includes two commissioned world premieres and dancers from NYCB, American Ballet Theatre, BalletX, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Noche Flamenco, Jacob Jonas The Company, tap sensation Ayodele Casel, ballroom dancers Denys Drozdyuk and Antonina Skobina, and more. For tickets and more information on how to donate to the American Cancer Society, click here.

Latest Posts


James Barkley, Courtesy Dance for Change

Take Class From Celebrated Black Dancers and Raise Money for the NAACP Through Dance for Change

Since the nationwide fight against racial inequality took center stage in May, organizations across the dance world have been looking for meaningful ways to show their support, rather than fall back on empty social media signifiers. July 10-11, Diamante Ballet Dancewear is taking action with Dance for Change, a two-day event dedicated to fundraising for the NAACP, and amplifying the voices of Black professional dancers.

Organized by Diamante Ballet Dancewear's founder, Nashville Ballet 2 dancer Isichel Perez, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre teacher Elise Gillum, Dance for Change makes it easy to participate. Dancers need only to make a donation to the NAACP (in any amount) and email proof to diamante.ballet@gmail.com to be given online access to a full schedule of Zoom master classes taught by Black pros artists. Teachers include Ballet Memphis' George Sanders, Boston Ballet's Daniel Durrett, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Corey Bourbonniere, and more. "It's important that we amplify BIPOC voices during this time, and it's also important that we're conscious of where we're putting our dollars," says Bourbonniere. "Diamante is doing both with Dance for Change, and I'm honored to be in this talented group of melanated dancers."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Houston Ballet's "Dancing With Myself" Captures How We All Feel Right Now

What are dancers to do when they're still stuck at home in isolation? After all, there's only so much time you can spend taking barre, tackling your reading list (or Netflix queue) or ticking items off your to-do list. Even wistfully looking out the window has lost its appeal after a few months.

That's when you need a dance party—even it's for a party of one.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

"Our Studio Is Failing Its Students of Color": One Dancer's Experience of Racism and Microaggressions

I recently spent a Saturday night with my husband and my 17-year-old dancing daughter, who sobbed at the foot of our bed. My daughter revealed her experiences with implicit bias and overt racism in school, and especially in the dance studio.

For six years, she has danced at a classical ballet school tied to the city's ballet company. The previous six years were spent at a mid-sized recreational/competition studio. I want to recount a few examples of the racism that my daughter shared that night.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks