(1862-1928) An American dancer who had great success throughout France and a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting. Her scarf dances were illuminated by multi-colored lighting displays of her own design. According to Stéphane Mallarmé, she was "the physical embodiment of an idea." Her admirers included Yeats, Rodin, James Whistler, and Toulouse-Latrec. The subject of hundreds of lithographs, sculptures, watercolors, etchings, and oil paintings, some art historians give "La Belle Americaine” credit for inspiring the Art Nouveau movement. At the 1900 Paris International Exhibition in the Palace of Electricity, Fuller wowed a large public audience with a dance performed on an innovative stage designed to her specifications. Illumined from below and above with individually operated colored lights, Fuller created her renowned fire dance. Fuller created magnificent illusions by manipulating cloth, usually an oversized skirt, with hidden wands. By projecting colored and patterned light onto the morphing cloth, which swelled and spiraled into fantastic shapes, she transfigured herself into objects that were simultaneously exotic and organic.
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