Degas excelled in depicting dancers in performance, rehearsal, waiting in the wings or, as here, at moments of ease. Characteristically, he chose an off-centre grouping with the dancers chatting in a corner of the rehearsal room. Part of a ballet skirt is reflected in the mirror behind. Degas often re-worked his designs and earlier pastels incorporate the same arrangement of figures. Here he worked with oil paint to establish the general outlines and reinforce certain details, blocked in colour with broad brush strokes and used his fingers, leaving fingerprints in the paint surface. He produced over 1500 images connected with the ballet.