The American Modern Dance Revolutionaries
At the turn of the 20th Century, these American female dancers were at the forefront of artistic and feminist enlightenment...
And now Muses of Modern Dance™, produced by Patricia W. Ward, celebrates their works in captivating recreations.
Isadora Duncan advanced dance in relation to its inherent truths. Freedom of movement visioned within the context of intrinsic beauty inspired the dancer to discover its essence from the inside- out, from the solar plexus; natural... as in the quintessential wave, wind, fire, or whisper of a heavenly soul. A beautiful marriage existed between the rhythms of music and the rhythms of the moving body. Through the imperative of selfhood, and for the cause of joy, beauty, strength and courage, Duncan first lent both creative impulse and sense of weight to the rediscovery reanimation and re-imagination of the lost birthright - the Art Of the Dance. This new dance of the future would be called modern dance.
Loie Fuller captivated audiences with her ingenious interplay between light and fabric ephemerally conjoined via the movement of the human form. She was a genius with special effects transporting audiences beyond reality and into the breadth of the imagination. Her mesmerizing choreographic motifs enveloped the earthly world and the heavenly realm. Fuller was influential, not just in the field of dance and the visual arts, but also in lighting design, stagecraft and cinema. Given today’s preoccupation with technology and its origins, Fuller’s skillful use of special effects has singular relevance. She was a forerunner. An independent, visionary artist, Fuller fashioned herself into one of her era’s most influential and celebrated performers.
Ruth St. Denis embodied the sensuous spirit and unbound serpentine movements of dancers from the Orient and Egypt as well as myriad indigenous movement forms from global cultures. The exotic was fashionable, transformative and spiritually enlightening. St. Denis provided the audience consciousness with a staging and costuming cornucopia through her music visualizations, a style that called for movement equivalent in timbre, dynamics, rhythm and structured shapes in music. Dance for St. Denis was a spiritual practice. Her dancing arose during a time of complex cultural and social transformation.