East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Ruth St. Denis

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e1304c33db9a1336312a4b6d2f846ad0I am not a fan of ballet. I grew up on radio and 45s. I grew up with pop, rock and, a little later, with jazz. I can dig folk and country (of the non-truck-driver sort). My tastes in classical music are still considered “quirky” by those in the know, and I had a hard time coming to terms with opera.
Ballet–no, not yet.
Let’s say I’m working on it.

But I write, and so I do searches for reference images, and I was looking into old photos of Oriental costumes and so I stumbled on Ruth St. Denis.
Dancer, choreographer, Orientalist.
The woman that was inspired by a an ad for Egyptian Deities cigarettes to create an Egyptian themed ballet, and that later went on to do a lot of things using Indian and Japanese and other Oriental influences.
A giant in the world of dance.

And she did a choreography based on Leo Delibes’ Lakhme, that is something I know, being the first piece of classical music I ever bought – quirky, as I said, that’s me.

And so I did a bit of searching on Pinterest, and found a wealth of beautiful photographs, and this being Sunday and August and we’re all a little more at leisure, here goes a gallery of vintage images of Ruth St. Denis and her stage costumes.

(as usual, you can click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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