“One day I had a vision while listening to the sounds of my daughter’s piano playing”. The lid of the concert grand piano became the slide screen of a ballet. Hand-drawn silent black and white scenes appeared one after the other in my imagination. This is how the idea for the drawing book ‘On wings, three centuries of ballet in scenes’ was born.

After 8 passionate summers drawing in my outdoor studio, the time has come. In the book, every ballet starts with a stage story. Eighteen ballets appear as a ‘silent’ dance film.”

Ballet Music

The drawing book ‘On Wings’ is the first in a series of drawn tributes to the pioneers of dance, its ballet pianists and the composers. A musical journey from the harpsichord to the modern concert grand piano. Do you dance along – carried on divine wings by the opera baroque music; on wings of love in Romanticism. Like exotic birds in avant-garde music and on wings of light in neoclassical music.

My fascination and research concerns the Eastern influences in Western music history.


The composers of ballet music have been immortalised thanks to the invention of the gramophone record. Original live concerts can now be heard in the living room. I became inspired by piano sonatas (the sounds of the modern concert grand piano) and so I travelled to the Museo della Musica in Venice to admire the authentic hand-painted harpsichords. These harpsichords also served the Court Ballet.

Then in the footsteps of the Italian Jean Baptiste Lully, the court composer of the French Sun King Louis XIV ‘Le Roi Soleil’, I also visited Château de Versailles. In the Château, a ballroom ‘The Hall of Mirrorswas built on his behalf. Near the window, a majestic statue of Apollo on horseback stands in the pond as a fountain; the French Sun King worships this Greek Sun God.

The Greek statues in the castle gardens of Château de Versailles come to life in the court ballets of Le Roi Soleil that I chose to draw: ‘Ballet Royal de la Nuit’ | ‘Ballet des Muses’ | “Ballet de Psyche or de la Puissance de l’amour”.

Can you imagine Le Ballet Royal de la Nuit – Le Roi Soleil – Louis XIV dancing his ‘cosmic Sun Dance’ as the first space traveler on gold-yellow heels in the role of Greek sun god Apollo?

Last year, I visited the Early Music Festival (2018) in Utrecht and became acquainted with a reconstruction – the shortened version ‘Concert Royal de la Nuit’ – of the original Le Ballet Royal de la Nuit, the greatest ballet spectacle (1653) ever in dance history. A stroke of luck to hear this new score played live now 300 years later! The French Sun King himself dances the leading role as Apollo, he is then fifteen years young. Thanks to composer Sébastien Daucé and his Ensemble Correspondances, the Ballet is now back on stage.

‘The time travel of Apollo’ – from the first Amsterdam Theaters to Concert Hall – can be heard in a Dance Lecture.

Moulen Noir | Black ink pens dance rhythmically on white paper. My work as an artist is about the fascination of time travel. Music is my medium – a journey from the distant past, the present, or visions into the future. My work shows parallels; music – movement – light and space.

The drawing book ‘On wings, three centuries of ballet in scenes’ is like an endless duet of Sun and Moon on wings of light.

Dance language MM | Marion Moulen is a unique drawing method of dance poses in ordered movement sequences.

Movement Sequences

Black ink pens dance rhythmically on white paper. You see clear flowing line patterns of the movements of the dancer’s body. The dance poses are arranged in movement sequence and designed ‘physically musically’. My research is a drawing method – dance language in ‘rhythms and mimicry- that is suitable for various dance disciplines, including modern dance.

Dance on paper

Dance on paper fascinated me during my studies at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. My research and fascination for dance and music started at a young age. As an art student I visited the exhibition Danses – La Voix du Geste | Plan K – Ars Musica 92 – Charleroi | Musée des Beaux-Arts de Charleroi in Belgium. Here I discovered that there is no fixed system to ‘read’ dance in the way a musician handles his sheet music. With Modern Dance, every choreographer creates his ‘dance on paper’ entirely in his own way.

After completing the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, I organized dancers for figure drawing. As a solo dancer Ziaqua, I trained my memory in dance choreography for drawing art. For this, I developed a visual method ‘Dance Language’ MM as a manual for dance practice. For group choreography, the drawings are more complex.