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Pirouette

Console Table

The Dance Class

The Dance Class, 1874. Edgar Degas. Bequest of Mrs. Harry Payne Bingham, 1986.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 815

Inspiration & Interpretation

Renowned theologian C.S. Lewis described the Trinity (the Christian doctrine of one God consisting of the Father, Son, and Spirit) as a type of “dance” when he writes that “God is not a static thing…but a dynamic, pulsating activity, almost…a kind of dance.” Wm. Paul Young’s bestselling book The Shack famously depicted the diversity and dynamism of the Godhead in his portrayal of members of the Trinity working together to help a father grieve the loss of his child.

No matter how you feel about this fundamental element of Christian doctrine, there’s no doubt that movement is core to our reality and existence. The universe is in a state of constant expansion. The earth is in constant motion. Humans and other aspects of creation have continually evolved. Most Christians believe the creative work of the Trinity is animating this movement, as God continues working in our world through us.

In his 1874 painting “The Dance Class,” artist Edgar Degas sought to depict movement in his painting of ballerinas and their parents in a dance studio at the behest of Jules Perrot, a famous ballet master. Degas took special interest in depicting movement and delicate details, and this was our goal as well with our table design.

The waving layers of wood—finished like gossamer marble and braced with hand-forged metal—are inspired by the waves and delicacy of a ballerina’s tutu. A 126-inch glass top completes this remarkable accent piece, tapered like the classic form of a ballet pointe shoe.

When I look at this piece, I’m reminded of how my days unfold unexpectedly with ebbs and flows but it is God’s invitation to me to “ride the waves”—to, in a sense, dance within whatever song God has for me that day. The diagonal brass piece wrapping around the marble waves and holding the glass top is representational, to me, of my faith. Though I enter each day unsure of the surprises and challenges ahead, I trust my faith will ground me and hold me together—that it will move me forward in an impactful way.

Echoed in the Pirouette is also a kind of architecture for reality itself. The waves reflect the chaos and paradox of human history—our evolution as a species—while the brass legs depict order. Call it intelligent design or evolution or some combination of both, but as we move forward it does seem like there is something holding everything together. The elegance of the ebbs and flows communicate that God is with us in the chaos, revealed to us in myriad ways (what Christians might call the diversity of the Trinity) for our journeys. The glass itself—mirroring a ballerina’s pointe shoe—symbolizes the spiritual invitation for each of us.

Each of us, every day, is invited into both adaptation and resilience. We, too, are invited to evolve, to move. Each of us is invited to surrender to the spiritual flow of our days. To move forward and expand just like the universe. And most importantly, to dance through it all. With God, life, others, and our true selves.

Ernest Hershberger signature
Pirouette Console Table

"God is not a static thing...but a dynamic, pulsating activity, almost…a kind of dance."

C.S. Lewis

AHxMET

Pirouette Console Table

Soft, Graceful, Gossamer

130″L x 18″D x 32″H, 475lbs.

*Limited Edition – Only 70 Available

Join the Story

“Each day of your life ebbs and flows with highlights and low points. The ruffles represent how a day goes – minute by minute, hour by hour. As the day progresses, minutes and hours blend. The glass top represents reaching forward to tomorrow and the next goal or step in life. It teaches me to embrace life, give it my all, don’t shift the blame, be a great steward. Be relentless in pursuit of excellence.”

— Ernest Hershberger, Founder of Abner Henry

Pirouette Console Table