Ruth St. Dennis :: Parasol Girl . . and Much MORE

Our Mystery Girl had a life every bit as exotic as that first photo I found
so compelling. Ruth St. Denis (1878-1968) traveled the world as a
pioneer in the world of experimental Modern Dance.
With her dance partner , and very gay husband, she founded
the Denishawn School (1915), one of the first Modern dance schools
in the United States -- - whose students featured many well known dancers,
including Martha Graham.
Her dancers were taught classical ballet basics, which she merged with
Javanese hand movements and elements of other religious / spiritual based
traditions, including yoga.

Many of the best known choreographed pieces of this dance pioneer
explored diverse cultural and spiritual traditions.

Really love these costumes!
There's a fascinating website devoted to her work, which has a multi media
biography including a series of radio interviews done with her in the 1960's.
Go here to see more images and listen to this remarkable woman.

She remained active and influential in the dance world throughout her life.
I love this photo of Ruth St. Denis demonstrating a shoulder stand ... .
when she was in her 80's !

Proof positive that FLEXIBILITY ... . . in all forms ... .
is the key to a long and vital life.

Pardon me - -- while I reach for my yoga mat.

vintage photos : modified by Judith Thibaut
copyright Judith Thibaut


Sanity Fair said...

Such exotic designs. I saw the Martha Graham Company perform a few years ago - it was a wonderful experience.

My Castle in Spain said...

she's fantastic!!
and to achieve the last pose in her 80s...incredible!

right...so where's my yoga mat?

willow said...

Wow! Amazing pics and amazing woman!

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I should have known that that was her - but I did pick up on the 'aire' when I mentioned Carola. Carola, along with her partner, Matteo also danced these exotic dances. They were greatly influenced by her. I studied at the Martha Graham School and had a few classes with the legend herself. Amazing and spiritual. Glad you were able to find out who she was!

Ingrid Mida said...

What a fascinating story! I'm going to grab my yoga mat too. Imagine doing a shoulder stand in your 80s! I'm not sure I could do one now!!!

Chrisy said...

Such an interesting character...thanks for sharin...hope you're not stuck in a knot on your yoga mat!

La Dolce Vita said...

Parasol girl is very charming, how did you ever find so much info and so many photos of her? very clever! I expect to see this in one issue of Somerset or another! ciao bella!

vicki archer said...

Fabulous, fabulous Judith - excellent detective work 99....Happy weekend, xv.

Courtney said...

Thanks for such an interesting read!! I love the photo of her demonstrating a shoulder stand in her 80s as well... a wonderful reminder that I should reach for my yoga mat too (three weeks away, and I know I am doing to pay when I get back to class!!)

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