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Probably the greatest Lindy hop sequence ever filmed. Whitey's Lindy Hoppers from the 1941 film Hellzapoppin. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m34eD21QzUw

https://youtu.be/s88bDWlWH0w

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Using Found Twigs, Artist Chris Kenny Assembles Tiny Dancing Figures and Minimal Portraits

“Twelve twigs” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches. All images © Chris Kenny

By gathering and piecing together small twigs, London-born Chris Kenny crafts collections of dancing figures, abstract portraits, and even a small baby. As Kottke explains, the artist’s sparse creations rely heavily on the human desire to see objects or patterns in inanimate objects, a term called pareidolia. Kenny shares many of his constructions on twigsaints, an Instagram account he dedicates to likening singular twig figures to saints, like St. Vincent and St. Agnes. Keep up with all of the artist’s wood assemblages on his main Instagram and purchase one of his minimal pieces for your collection on his site.

“St. Desideratus, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“Twig Drawing (Man of Sorrows)” (2017), construction with found twigs, 24 x 24 x 3 inches

“Noli Me Tangere (After Veronese)” (2016), construction with found twigs, 27 x 27 x 3 inches

“St. Barnabas, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“The Great Morning (Twig drawing after Philipp Otto Runge)” (2018), construction with found twigs, 18 x 26 x 3 inches

“Twig Drawing” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches

 

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If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
— Emma Goldman
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Watch the Serpentine Dance, Created by the Pioneering Dancer Loie Fuller, Performed in an 1897 Film by the Lumière Brothers

Whatever their views on copyright, artists and inventors of all kinds can agree on one thing: all dread the horror of having one’s ideas stolen without so much as a footnote of credit. Such thefts have led to tanked careers, lifelong resentments, homicidal rivalries, and lawsuits to fill libraries. They have allowed many a thief to prosper and many an injured party to surrender.

But not legendary modern dance pioneer Loie Fuller.

“Short, plump, and thirty years old,” the dancer from Illinois arrived in Paris in 1892, fresh off the “mid-level vaudeville” circuit, writes Rhonda K. Garelick at Public Domain Review, and bent on proving herself to Édouard Marchand, director of the Folies-Bergère. She scored an interview within days of her arrival.

Alighting from her carriage in front of the theater, she stopped short at the sight of the large placard depicting the Folies’ current dance attraction: a young woman waving enormous veils over her head, billed as the “serpentine dancer.” “Here was the cataclysm, my utter annihilation,” Fuller would later write, for she had come to the Folies that day precisely to audition her own, new “serpentine dance,” an art form she had invented in the United States.

The imposter, an American named Maybelle Stewart, had seen Fuller perform in New York and had lifted her act and taken it to Paris. Rather than succumb to rage or despair, Fuller sat through the matinee performance and was moved from a cold sweat to renewed confidence. “The longer she danced,” she wrote, “the calmer I became.” After Stewart left the stage, Fuller ascended in her serpentine costume and auditioned for Marchand, who agreed to take her on and fire Stewart.

The story gets stranger. The show had been promoted with Stewart’s name, and so, to avoid bad publicity, Fuller agreed to perform the first two nights as Stewart, “dancing her own imitation of Stewart’s imitation of the serpentine dance,” a “triple-layer simulation,” Garelick writes, “worthy of an essay by Jean Baudrillard”—and emblematic of a career in dance marked by “self-replication, mirrored images, and identity play.”

Thus did the woman named Loie Fuller (born Mary-Louise Fuller), begin “what was to become an unbroken thirty-year reign as one of Europe’s most wildly celebrated dancers.” Fuller was “the only female entertainer to have her own pavilion” at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, writes Natalie Lemie at Artsy. “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec featured her in a number of prints; Auguste Rodin commissioned a series of photographs of the dancer with plans to sculpt her; and the Lumière brothers released a film about her in 1897.”

Fuller’s dance personified Art Nouveau, expressing its elegant, flowing lines in her billowing silk gowns, which she moved by means of bamboo sewn into her sleeves. As she danced “colored lights were projected onto the flowing fabric, and as she twirled, she seemed to metamorphose into elements from the natural world: a flower, a butterfly, a tongue of flame.” Everyone came to see her. The Folies, which “typically attracted working class patrons," now had aristocratic newcomers lining up outside.

See the serpentine dance that launched her career at the top in the Lumière Brothers’ 1897 film and below it in a colorized excerpt, with the bewitching music of Sigur Ros added for effect. Other films and clips here from other early cinema pioneers show the medium's embrace of Fuller's choreography. Ironically, none of this footage, it seems, shows Fuller herself, but only her imitators. "Unfortunately none of the surviving films seem to contain a performance by the original dancer/choreographer," notes cinema history channel Magical Motion Museum, "despite some of them carrying her name in the title or otherwise crediting her as the dancer."

Her name carried a lot of weight. Fuller was not only a celebrated dancer, but also a manager, producer, and lighting designer with “over a dozen patents related to her costumes and innovations in stage lighting.” (She was so interested in the “luminous properties” of radium that she sought out and “befriended its discoverers, Pierre and Marie Curie.”) By 1908, however, she had left behind some of these elaborate stage effects to focus on “natural dancing’—dance inspired by nature, which was the forerunner of modern dance.”

And she had taken on a young dancer in her company named Isadora Duncan, often referred to as the “Mother of Modern Dance." Fuller deserves credit, too, but she didn’t seem to care about this overmuch. She was, notes Oberlin College dance professor Ann Cooper Albright, “way more interested in making things happen than creating a name for herself.” Fame came as a byproduct of her creativity rather than its sought-after reward. She was still renowned after she left the stage, and given a retrospective at The Louvre in 1924.

Fuller continued to work behind the scenes after the Art Nouveau movement gave way to new modernisms and supported and inspired younger artists until her death in 1928. Her work deserves a prominent place in the history of modern dance, but Fuller herself “was—and remains—elusive,” Lemie writes, “something of a phantom." Others might have stolen, borrowed, or imitated the serpentine dance, but Lois Fuller became it, going beyond competition and into a realm of magic.

via Public Domain Review

Related Content:

Watch an Avant-Garde Bauhaus Ballet in Brilliant Color, the Triadic Ballet, First Staged by Oskar Schlemmer in 1922

The Graceful Movements of Kung Fu & Modern Dance Revealed in Stunning Motion Visualizations

Expressionist Dance Costumes from the 1920s, and the Tragic Story of Lavinia Schulz & Walter Holdt

Josh Jones  is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Watch the Serpentine Dance, Created by the Pioneering Dancer Loie Fuller, Performed in an 1897 Film by the Lumière Brothers is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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FOLI (there is no movement without rhythm) original version by Thomas Roebers and Floris Leeuwenberg
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Supaman at Rocky Boy Pow Wow

If you imagine away the (amazing!) costume it's even more visible to me how beautifully free this dancing style is.
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