Loie Fuller (1862-1928) was once the most famous dancer in the world, though many, including Loie herself, wondered if what she did was really dancing. In her best-known innovation, the serpentine, she manipulated voluminous folds of silk through shimmering beams of colored lights. Loie broke the mold of traditional choreography and paved the way for other pioneers in modern dance, including Isadora Duncan and Josephine Baker. As a "magician of light, " she made long-lasting contributions to stage lighting, cinematic techniques, and costuming. Loie also beguiled her era with autobiographical details that suited her fancy more than the facts, leaving a sketchy and inaccurate portrait of her early years. Drawing on primary sources, the authors masterfully untangle the paradoxes of this exceptional woman. A tall and lovely sylph in posters and sculptures, she was in reality a rather plump woman with a plain face; a dance innovator, she had no training in choreography; a co-founder of art museums, she had never seen an art exhibit before arriving in Paris; a close and respected associate of the most learned men and women in the world, she had no formal education. Loie said that she was born in America but made in France, and this fascinating book also brings to life members of the circles in which she flourished, including Sarah Bernhardt, Alexandre Dumas fils, Pierre and Marie Curie, Anatole France, Auguste Rodin, and Queen Marie of Romania. In a biography as distinctive as the woman it depicts, the authors reveal a remarkable artist whose dauntless will to get ahead, along with intelligence, resourcefulness, and ingenuity, enabled her to succeed despite repeated disappointments andfinancial disasters. This is the definitive work on Loie Fuller and her tremendous influence on the world of dance and Art Nouveau.
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Symbolist poets rhapsodized over her, artists jostled to paint her, sculptors strove to capture her evanescent image in art nouveau bronze and glass. But it wasn't long after dancer Loie Fuller's golden age in 1890s Paris that dance fans relegated her to novelty status. Now, two biographers, Richard Nelson Current and Marcia Ewing Current, are determined to rehabilitate her memory and restore her place as one of the pioneers of modern dance. The American-born Fuller was untrained in classical dance, but her spirit moved her to whirl amid yards of floating cloth, illuminated in brilliant colors by the newly discovered electric light. "La Loïe's" talents as a businesswoman, self promoter, artistic rebel, and star of her own personal tragedy make her a complex and fascinating character. Her rediscovery and renewed appreciation makes this book a real event in dance biography.From Kirkus Reviews:
A biography of the unique performer once described as ``the beautiful girl who, in her floating draperies, swirls endlessly around in an ecstasy.'' With Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, Fuller is generally credited with inventing American modern dance. But unlike the other two women, she accomplished her work primarily with imagery, created by the interplay of fabric, which she manipulated, and special lighting effects that brought the use of electric light in crafting theatrical illusion to unimagined heights of sophistication. The Currents are not dance historians--he is a Bancroft Prizewinning biographer and historian, and she is an art curator and a collector of art inspired by Fuller--and their cursory comments on other dancers and dance history are not the book's strong point. But their portrait of Fuller as a businesswoman of the theater is vivid and detailed. She wasn't content simply to perform. Instead, Fuller established a school and two art museums, choreographed prolifically and produced countless shows, toured the world with her company of dancers (and a large corps of electricians), wrote plays, explored and advanced various techniques of stagecraft, and served as an all-around muse for emerging Art Nouveau. She also rose socially from her midwestern milieu (she was born in Illinois in 1862) to become the close friend of Rodin, Pierre and Marie Curie, and Princess Marie of Romania. Our glimpses here of Loie the woman are relatively few. Her private life, including various flirtations with women and one long-term relationship, seems less open to scrutiny than her theatrical impact, and this is too bad. The Currents' tendency to portray her as a shy plain-Jane who compensated royally onstage is also too simple to fully persuade. Still, this saga of a life in the theater is irresistible in romantic scope, in sheer unlikelihood, and in Fuller's persistence of vision. It's a tale of impossible dreams mostly fulfilled. (color and b&w illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descripción Northeastern, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1555533094