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Author photo. Theatrical Poster Collection, LoC Prints and Photographs (LC-USZ61-1034)

Theatrical Poster Collection, LoC Prints and Photographs (LC-USZ61-1034)

Loie Fuller (1862–1928)

Author of Fifteen Years of a Dancer's Life

Includes the names: Loie Fuller, Loïe Fuller

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Marie Louise "Loie" Fuller was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. She began her professional career as a child actress, performing in burlesque, vaudeville, and circus shows. She was a pioneer of the Art Nouveau free dance movement and created choreography with silk costumes illuminated by multi-colored lighting of her own design. In 1892, she went to Paris, where she performed at the Folies Bergère and was an immediate sensation. Her Serpentine Dance was captured on film in 1896 by Auguste and Louis Lumière. In connection with her work, she invented and received patents on chemical compounds for stage lighting and other effects, and was a member of the French Astronomical Society. She became a friend of many French artists and scientists, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Auguste Rodin, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Marie Curie. She helped Isadora Duncan by introducing her to Paris audiences and sponsoring her 1902 recitals in Vienna and Budapest. Late in life, Zoula de Boncza, one of Fuller's students, published a book on her dance method, La Danse classique sans barre (1961). Fuller also had a close friendship with Queen Marie of Romania; their extensive correspondence was later published. Her autobiography, Quinze ans de ma vie, was written in French and published in 1908 with an introduction by Anatole France. It was re-written in English a few years later and appeared under the title Fifteen Years of a Dancer's Life (1913).
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