Balancing precariously on her pedestal, Muñoz' Greek Ballerina III is isolated and alone. Her movements are limited by the corner pieces on two sides, yet there is still a dangerous scope for disaster, room enough for her to tumble to the ground. Executed in 1989, Greek Ballerina III is one of Muñoz' earliest explorations of the human figure in his sculpture. By placing the ballerina on a pedestal, he combines this new-found interest with the use of a furniture-like installation, the constant feature of many of his earlier works. The ballerina herself has the semi-spherical lower half that would become the artist's hallmark in his depictions of the human figure, as exemplified in his famous Conversation Piece, created two years later.
This curved lower half allows the ballerina to move, to wobble gently, adding a semblance of life. In depicting the human figure in this way, Muñoz portrays the human condition, a condition of limitations and frustrations. Where Muñoz had formerly placed the viewer within a certain context, he now invites us to observe the ballerina from a distance. This detachment and removal from participation heightens the sense of the impossibility of true human communication that is central to so many of his greatest works. Both the ballerina's position at that height and her lack of legs mean that she is unable to break into the dance that the title invokes. The bells on her arms and the toy-like appearance of her bottom half add a pathetic poignancy to the work. They add the concept of sound and yet, stranded on her pillar, the ballerina is mute, her dance able to evoke and emphasise only the isolation of her position and, by extension, of life itself. In this way, Greek Ballerina III eloquently cuts to the heart of Muñoz' concerns with art's limitations, with the impossibility of true intercourse, and likewise with a vertiginous awareness of the fragility of life.