La danse des couleurs de Loïe Fuller
"In the last decade of the 19th century, Loïe Fuller invented an art without definition, without semiotic limitations and prefiguring this strange non-indexed practice which was finally to be discovered as a modern form of dance in the first years of the following century. From her own body as a source of imagination, she combined the use of the movement of light and color to create works in which she was both the source of animation and the surface of reflection.
A contemporary Munich dancer Brygida Ochaim wanted to give new life to this founding work, which still questions more than one field of artistic expression. This involved a patient study to find the dynamics of movement, the making of large parts of pleated fabrics (living sculptures, that the body agitates by mastering them with incredible precision), projection and lighting techniques that also made an act both pictorial and cinematographic. Accompanied in this research by Judith Barry for the work on colored lights, and by Dan Graham for the design of space, Brygida Ochaim also unearthed a valuable documentary collection on the technical and artistic activity of Fuller. All these elements were gathered in this exhibition as exciting as surprising. "
Source: Laurence Louppe, Art press 171, Juillet/Août 1992
Born in Chicago in 1862, Loie Fuller began her stage career as a child actress. During her twenties, she performed as a skirt dancer on the burlesque circuit. In 1891 she went on tour with a melodrama called "Quack MD," playing a character who performed a skirt dance while under hypnosis. Fuller began experimenting with the effect the gas lighting had on her silk skirt and received special notice in the press. Her next road tour, in a show called "Uncle Celestine," featured this new version of the skirt dance. By emphasizing the body was transformed by the artfully moving silk.
By 1892, Fuller had moved to Paris and was performing with the Folies Bergeres. She was an immediate sensation with audiences and critics. Stephane Mallarme, the leading poet of the Symbolist movement, dubbed her "La Loie" and described her dancing as "the dizzyness of soul made visible by an artifice." Fuller remained in Europe for the rest of her career, continuing to develop her theories of movement using material and lighting effects. She returned to the United States to perform, but was never fully appreciated by her own countrymen.
Fuller was an inventor and stage craft innovator who held many patents for stage lighting, including the first chemical mixes for gels and slides and the first use of luminescent salts to create lighting effects. She was also an early innovator in lighting design, and was the first to mix colors and explore new angles. Fuller was well respected in the French scientific community, where she was a close personal friend of Marie Curie and a member of the French Astronomical Society. Fuller had a school and a company beginning in 1908, where she taught natural movement and improvisational techniques. She did not, however, teach them her lighting and costuming « tricks ». Fuller was the first expatriot American dancer, and introduced Isadora Duncan to Parisian audiences.
Source: University of Pittsburg
"Brygida Ochaim as a dancer of images, like a long film, in costume sequences, exploring the myths of the dancer, reflecting dancers but also producing images and characters through research on Loïe Fuller and Musidora.
Dance linked to light, photography, cinema. The biographical approach, dance through his dancers. Brygida Ochaim as an extra-contemporary dancer, mixing eras and mirrors, veils and tapdancing: dance as a character. Conceptual approach, meta-dance? Attention the movie starts ".
Source : Biographie de Brygida Ochaim in "La tentation biographique", Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, Purple Prose 4, Autumn 1993
More information: brygida-ochaim.de
La danse des couleurs de Loïe Fuller
Artistic direction / Conception
Création lumières : Judith Barry
Claude Debussy (Sirènes)
Installations : Christian Boltanski, Dan Graham