Body cinema: The Costume and the Body, Loie Fuller and Martha Graham

November 21, 2010

Both pioneers of modern dance and strong women in hard times, Loie Fuller and Martha Graham have made some ground works not only in dance, but in the field that discovers the interplay between the body, space, fabrics, light and movements…


Photo above: Portrait of Loïe Fuller, by Frederick Glasier, 1902
Photo bellow: Martha Graham in Lamentation, by Barbara Morgan, 1935

Loie Fuller’s Serpentine Dance is a classic recorded on celluloid in 1896 by also pioneering film-makers Auguste and Louis Lumière featuring, still unknown to dance historians, female dancer. This vintage footage is a real silent gem…

Serpentine Dance by Loie Fuller

Lamentation is a silent color film of Martha Graham dancing extracts of her synonymous dance piece created in 1930.
Filmed in 1943 at Bennington College by Russian-born sculptor Simon Moselsio. His wife, who took still photos of the same piece, explained ‘We used two movie cameras for the motion picture, so we could take the picture from different angles… I had the still camera around my neck and made the stills at the same time.’

Lamentation by Martha Graham

November 22, 2010 @ 8:17 am

This adds a completely new meaning of what we think about modern
costume and dance today… Loie and Martha are more modern,
innovative and fresh than many almost a century later! Good point
for auto reflection.

November 22, 2010 @ 9:33 am

i totally agree with you… so so inspiring… i’m constantly
thinking what was like to live in these times and doing all these
amazing thingz… especially loie, who is one of the pioneers of
stage light…

December 5, 2010 @ 9:19 am

Imagine where dance would be without these postmodern dance
choreographers. There wouldn’t be any growth without taking risk.

December 5, 2010 @ 10:19 am

that’s true shelby… thanks for your remark… although, ivana ‘s
and mine comments were not intended towards pros and cons of
postmodern or conceptual choreographers… in contrary…besides,
that’s already a won battle, don’t you agree?you’re right about
risks… we need more risks, and less judgments…

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