Celebration Lecture

April 12, 2012 from 6-7:30pm
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium
40 Lincoln Center Plaza


To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of modern-dance pioneer Loie Fuller (1862-1928), performer-scholar Jody Sperling presents a lecture honoring her legacy. The presentation illuminates Fuller’s spectacular art in relation to movements in early cinema and the visual arts. This program is presented in conjunction with Time Lapse Dance’s Loie Fuller Celebration Season at Joyce SoHo, May 10-13, 2012.celebration lecture

Fuller created a unique art form by crafting mesmerizing, multi-media spectacles out of fabric, motion, colored lights and projections. From the 1890s through the 1920s, she enraptured audiences and visual artists with her iridescent, sculptural creations.
In a period when movies were coming into being, the art of Fuller and her many imitators, or “serpentine dancers,” captured the essence of motion pictures. Instead of moving the “picture,” they fanned their ample skirts to fashion dynamic, mobile screens. Appropriately, many of the earliest performers captured on film are serpentine dancers and Fuller look-a-likes.
This presentation highlights the proto-cinematic elements of Fuller’s craft as well as Fuller’s influence on the movies. Fuller’s 1908 Ballet of Light, which featured drop-screens and multiple sources of projection, brought the viewer on a fantastic geographic journey in a way that anticipated the IMAX adventure. The presentation features slide-show of dozens of Fuller images, screenings of rare historical footage and select video clips from Sperling’s recreations.