The sculpture labeled the Hippo Ballerina was created by Danish artist Bjorn Okholm Skaarup. The placement of the sculpture was coordinated with the New York City Art in the Park program. The sculpture was inspired by the dancing hippos in the legendary Walt Disney film Fantasia. That film was originally released in 1940 and stood as Walt Disney’s third animated feature film.
Skaarup’s stature was also inspired by Edgar Degas sculpture entitled “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen.” The outfit on Skaarup’s Hippo Ballerina is similar to the same as the outfit worn by Edgar Degas’s sculpture.
The 2.5-ton bronze Hippo Ballerina sculpture at Pershing Square Plaza West is located on the west side of Park Avenue between East 41st and East 42nd Streets in Midtown
The sculptures will remain on display through December 2022.