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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Loïe Fuller’s innovative use of light and motion (the two essential elements of any screendance) prefigured many such twenty-first-century experiments. This chapter discusses how Fuller used theatrical lighting to connect with and energize her vision of dance—through visual effects such as mirrors and shadows—and shows the development in her later career of a cinematic vision, especially in her first forays into film. It also discusses Fuller’s Le Lys de la Vie, tracing its influence on the work of filmmakers and theorists such as René Clair and Germaine Dulac, as well as its importance for the use and critical reception of film and video in contemporary dance. The critical reception of her work in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries parallels in enlightening ways current dialogues about dance and technology, giving us an important historical perspective on the relationship between physical expression and visual abstraction, between body and image in dance.

Keywords: Loïe Fuller, cinema, screendance, theatrical lighting, Germaine Dulac, René Clair, Le Lys de la Vie

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