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Ruth St. Denis at the London Coliseum in her ‘Hindoo Temple Dance,’ ‘Radha,’ April/May 1909

August 7, 2014

Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968), American pioneer of modern dance and teacher, as she appeared for a short season at the London Coliseum in 1909, beginning Monday, 19 April, in her ‘Hindoo Temple Dance’ entitled ‘Radha.’ The accompanying music was adapted from the ballet music of Delibes’ opera Lakmé
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, circa 1909)

‘Miss Ruth St. Denis was seen at the London Coliseum last week in the most picturesque and imaginative of the Indian temple dances that she has made her peculiar domain. This is the one in which as the reincarnated Rhada, wife of Khrishna, she symbolises for the watching worshippers the mortifying of the flesh by the renunciation of the five senses, and the consequent attainment of final peace. Always graceful and always significant, her dancing has in this instance an almost austere restraint that accords perfectly with its ritual intent and its temple frame. The audience showed a thorough appreciation of the artistic character of the dance, and Miss St. Denis was warmly called at the close.’
(The Sunday Times, London, Sunday, 25 April 1909, p. 5f)

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