The legendary dance and Art Nouveau icon Loïe Fuller was the muse for poets and painters such as Stéphane Mallarmé or Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Her dancing, which was inspired by oriental ideas, was enveloped in flowing costumes and posthumously labelled as modern dance.
Fuller’s works influenced Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman and Martha Graham. Thanks to her technical stage innovations, she became a pioneer of media theatre.
However, it is the mutual influence of fashion and dance that is most clearly apparent in her work. The dance reform movement at the start of the 20th century, in which Fuller was a key figure, is closely linked with the dress reform movement that was taking place at the same time, as both movements proposed releasing the female body from out-dated constraints. With her widely cut, no-corset costumes, under which she wore neither a bra nor a petticoat, Fuller embodied this link between social and artistic change.
For his piece CAEN AMOUR, the choreographer Trajal Harrell analysed Fuller’s dance and theatre works as well as her impact on the development of ‘fashion spectacles’ up to today’s body concepts.
At the interface between dance, history and Orientalism emerged an intersection of fashion show and dance laboratory; stage and catwalk; historical demolition and museum artefact.
Choreography – Trajal Harrell
Dancers – Thibault Lac, Ondrej Vidlar, Trajal Harrell and Perle Palombe
Guide – Verena Brakonier
Lighting design – Sylvain Rausa
Stage design – Jean Stephan Kiss
Soundtrack – Trajal Harrell
Costumes – Trajal Harrell
Dramaturge – Sara Jansen
Production: Kampnagel Hamburg, Theater Freiburg, Arsenic Lausanne, Gessnerallee Zürich, Performa Biennial 2017 New York and Productiehuis Rotterdam.