Incense by Ruth St. Denis


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Over the next few days I want to celebrate the work and talent that was Ruth St. Denis, as part of the 45 Days of Dance Stories.

Ruth St. Denis was not only applauded for her progressive choreography and the legacy of work she has left dancers world over, but for me it was her unique talent and insight that enabled her to bridge classical western and eastern dance styles.

Born on a New Jersey Farm in 1879 this force of creative energy began her dance training at a very young age, across many a disciplines. Her transformation and constant re-invention of self, and dance-forms across time and place, leaves me speechless.

So here is Ruth St. Denis in her 1953, solo performance titled “Incense”. Inspired by Hindu rituals this piece became one of her signature works. Filmed by Philip Baribault. 

Photos of Ruth St. Denis from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Intrigued, want to delve further into the Artist and Dancer? Then  Ruth St. Denis: A Biography of the Divine Dancer (1990) by Suzanne Shelton is a great place to start.


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