An interview with the artist Naum Gabo’s daughter, Nina Williams.

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This week TateShots met Nina Williams, daughter of Naum Gabo, who showed us how to use ‘Constructivist Ballet’, a toy her father made for her during World War II. . The item is a toy created by the sculptor for his only daughter Nina, who was born in the midst of the turbulent years of the World War II. When there were no toys and games available for children to play with Gabo used simple materials from his studio to give his little daughter a precious toy. A plastic semi-spherical dome with some tiny off-cuts of coloured plastic underneath was transformed into miniature theatre stage with ballet-dancers as soon as Gabo rubbed its surface with woollen cloth. The energy of static electricity would make the ‘dancers’, named after chess pieces, jump and move in circles as by magic.