Early Modern Dance The Influence of Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn

Loie Fuller believed that dance should be an in the moment expression of emotion. She was very against the structure and restricted aspects of ballet. Her seemingly wild movements were unseen until she brought her style to the dancig world.

Fuller has many patents for stage lighting techniques such as the creation of a color gel and her use of chemical salts which led to more luminescent lighting.

In nearly every one of her dances the dancers have bright and colorful costumes that are brought to life by the lighting fixtures.

Her most famous dance is the serpentine dance in which she has a large, flowing dress and portrays the movement of a serpent. This dance perfectly displays her style of free flowing and expressive movements, as well as her tremendous use of lighting and costumes.

These free flowing movements inspired many aspects of Isadora Duncan's career.

Isadora Duncan was born May 26, 1877 in San Francisco, California, and she died September 14, 1927. There is a lot of speculation on when she was actually born.
Isadora Duncan's style of dance was inspired by natural and free flowing movements. In a time mostly dominated by ballet, Duncan's unconventional style drew attention from the dance community.
She sought to return dance to an art form instead of simply a way to entertain. Duncan was inspired to connect the soul and body through her movements. She believed dance could be used for spiritual expression.

Her use of non-traditional and natural movements earned her the title of "the creator of modern dance". Her influence is forever branded in the ways we dance today.

Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn

Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis owned and operated one of the most famous dance schools in history called the Denishawn School. The mixture of their two very famous dance styles led to the Denishawn School being one of the most highly regarded in the world.

Ted Shawn was a pioneer for men in dance. He and his male dancers showed of masculine and powerful movements that had rarely been seen in dance before. He allowed for men to be more than just a prop for the women to dance around.
Ted Shawn also created the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts.

Ruth St. Denis:

Ruth St. Denis believed in the same idea that Isadora Duncan had about dance being a spiritual expression. She often used different cultures, such as Egyptian to inspire her movements.

An example of Ted Shawn's masculine and energetic style of dance.

An example of Ruth St. Denis's style of dance.

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