Ruth St. Denis's Influence On Modern Dance

2008 Words9 Pages
Research Paper – Ruth St Denis There are many famous dancers and choreographers who have shaped modern dance and how it is performed nowadays. Ruth St Denis was without a doubt one of the most influential choreographers in the modern dance business and was the teacher of many successful dancers, who themselves reinvented modern dance and established new visions as well. One of her most notable impacts on modern dance was bringing ideas from eastern cultures into the western culture by incorporating them into her choreographies and performances. This research paper will explain how St Denis managed to influence how modern dance was performed and experienced with the observation of two of her dances. To understand her introduction of Oriental…show more content…
St Dennis had the privilege to take ballet classes with Maria Bonfante, who was an Italian ballerina. She also studied the technique of François Delsarte, forms of social dances, and skirt dancing (Au 92). The latter one was the start of her professional dance career. In 1892, she moved to New York City with her family and she performed skirt dances in Worth’s Family Theater and Museum, which was a dime museum, where the male viewers were able to see the legs of female dancers under their skirts (Gillis Kruman, “Chapter 2: The Solo Dancers”). She performed her dance routine several times a day during her time in New York City. It did not take long for her to be noticed by David Belasco, who was a producer and director for many successful Broadway shows. Belasco convinced St Denis to join his company as a featured dancer. He also came up with the idea to change her name to St Denis because it sounded more artistic and spiritual (Gillis Kruman, “Chapter 2: The Solo Dancers”). She started to tour with Belasco’s company and while she was in Buffalo, New York to perform Madame DuBarry, her interest for the culture of the Orient was awoken. The story goes that St Denis was at a drugstore

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