Gaudier was born in France but spent most of his tragically brief adult career in London. He was an important pioneer in the revival of carving in sculpture.This sculpture is perhaps his most important work, and demonstrates his use of a more abstract style. The poet Ezra Pound described it as ‘almost a thesis of his ideas upon the use of pure form’. It also shows Gaudier’s interest in ‘primitive’ cultures, through artefacts he saw at the British Museum. These sources, together with the undulating movement of the dance, give the figure a sense of erotic power.