At the time, St. Denis was preparing for a tour of the southeastern region of the United States, and needed a male partner to help present new ballroom dances.Shawn, who had admired St. Denis since seeing her perform in 1911, auditioned for and was awarded the role. More Details. Yellow rays of light and wisps of white incense spiral through the stage. She was then an eccentric showgirl named Ruth Dennis, touring through Buffalo in David Belasco’s theater company. Change ). The legacy left behind included not only her repertory of orient-inspired dances, but also students of Denishawn who later became pivotal figures in the world of modern dance. A cigarette poster changed Ruth St. Denis’ (1879-1968) life in 1906, an unlikely event which eventually altered the course of modern dance in America. Denishawn Collection. The New York Public Library. By 1914, St. Denis and Shawn married, and the following year they established the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts in Los Angeles. Denishawn Collection, no. 114-176. Find a location near you, and learn about our remote resources. × Get Citation. Collection. Accessed December 26, 2020. One of hundreds of thousands of free digital items from The New York Public Library. Initially solo artists, Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn began collaborating on work in 1914. ( Log Out /  114-176. She was the co-founder of the American Denishawn School of Dance and the teacher of several notable performers. Lea herself performed two pieces. We recommend you include the following information in your citation. Ruth St. Denis 1878-1968 was a pioneer of contemporary dance in America.. She was a sensation in her early years performing individual dances like Radha and Incense, Ruth St. Denis entered the inner realisation of the figures of divinity that she chose to perform – like Mary, Kwan Yin, the Yogi, O-Mika and others and from that feeling danced a vision of perfection. KEYWORDS: Ruth St. Denis, Hindu culture, 'Radha', 'Incense" and 'Nautch' INTRODUCTION The purpose of this paper is the following: • To explore the full extent of Ruth St. Denis's engagement with Hindu themes and its implications with respect to modern dance in America. Culture How India Inspired a Dance Pioneer With little exposure to the real thing, Ruth St. Denis dazzled audiences across America and Europe with her creation of Radha and other Indian dances In our January, 2009, issue, Dr. Joshi recounted Europe's introduction to Indian dance, the 1838 debut of the bayaderes, a South Indian troop of temple dancers or devadasis. The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library. Read More "Ruth St. Denis in The Incense" Barefoot and clad in a sari, she choreographed the rising plumes, danced with them, and in the words of biographer Suzanne Shelton, “Up and up her arms flowed, boneless, mesmeric, the disembodied essence of smoke.”, St. Denis noted, “The rising smoke of the incense was to me a symbol of devotion, of prayer and meditation, of the surrender of the self and the ecstasy of release, and I attempted to say with my rippling arms and my whole body what I felt in my heart.”, In describing the performance, Elizabeth Drake-Boyt saw “the tensions between a physical self transformed into ephemeral spirit, the same way burning incense is transformed from powder into perfumed smoke.”. EXPLORE MAURA KEEFE’S MULTIMEDIA ESSAY ON CARMEN DE LAVALLADE. See my wordpress page if you are interested. Ruth St. Denis in The Incense Names Peyton, Strauss (Photographer) Collection. Dennis took the stage name Ruth St. Denis, and in 1906, after studying Hindu art and philosophy, she offered a public performance in New York City of her first dance work, Radha (based on the milkmaid Radha who was an early consort of the Hindu god Krishna), together with such shorter pieces as The Cobra and The Incense. Previous Next . One famous example of these works is her "East Indian Nautch Dance," shown here. Ruth Saint Denis, a pioneer of modern dance, created choreography that was often inspired by traditional indigenous dances from Asia. “Incense” is based upon the Hindu ritual of puja, in which an individual worships the deities with offerings of flowers, food, fruit and incense. (1916). Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Ruth St. Denis in The Incense Dates / Origin Date Created: 1916 Library locations Jerome Robbins Dance Division Shelf locator: *MGZEB (Denishawn) Shelf locator: *MGZEB (Denishawn, no. Denishawn Collection, no. Her exotic, oriental-inspired dance interpretations opened new possibilities for dancers and stimulated a wave of creative experimentation in modern dance. Denishawn Collection, no. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-8511-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99, {{cite web | url=https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-8511-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 | title= Ruth St. Denis was the first American dancer to incorporate the traditions and practices of the vaudeville stage into the world of serious concert dance. 177-230. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-8511-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, Ruth St. Denis in The Incense. Denishawn Collection, no. In Ruth St. Denis … of her first dance work, Radha (based on the milkmaid Radha who was an early consort of the Hindu god Krishna), together with such shorter pieces as The Cobra and The Incense.A three-year European tour followed. Denishawn Collection. A centennial salute was scheduled with the revival premiere of St. Denis' "Radha", commissioned by Countess Anastasia Thamakis of Greece. Next: Mark Morris Ten Suggestions, 1996. Legacy. 0:00 / 0:00. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Image / Ruth St. Denis in the Dance of Incense. Born into an era when the choices in dance were limited to ballet and “popular,” Ruth St. Denis (1878-1968) was a pioneer in modern dance. She used her arms for the most part and really did not dance too much. The first, The Incense, was based on a 1906 work by American dancer Ruth St Denis whose interest in spirituality led her to look to India for inspiration to nurture her choreographic and performance career. Several early St. Denis solos (including "Incense" and "The Legend of the Peacock") were presented on September 29, 2006, at the Baltimore Mu… https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-8511-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, Paris : 1 photographic print : b&w ; 15 x 11 cm., pasted in card frame 24 x 18 cm., mounted on paper 41 x 36 cm. New York Public Library Digital Collections. Her solo "translations" were unique combinations of dramatic mise en scene and contemporary dance steps that successfully combined theatrical and concert dance traditions. Dates / Origin Date Created: 1906 - 1908 Library locations Jerome Robbins Dance Division Shelf locator: *MGZEB (Denishawn) Shelf locator: *MGZEB (Denishawn, no. Many companies currently include a collection of her signature solos in their repertoires, including the programme, "The Art of the Solo", a showcase of famous solos of modern dance pioneers. 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