Denishawn could not hold her down, Louise Brooks

Dance · Film
Actress/dancer/flapper-provocateuse Louise Brooks made her Denishawn company debut in 1922, when the company had already relocated from Los Angeles to New York. Brooks was shown the door by company matriarch Ruth St. Denis and after playing dozens of bit parts in Hollywood movies, hit it big as bad-woman “Lulu” in G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box in ...

Ruth St. Denis in the Valley 3

Dance
Above, Miss Ruth, as part of a newspaper feature story on elderly fitness, strikes a Denishawn pose for a photographer. Verso text: “Pictured are Frankie Van, owner of Frankie Van’s Health Club, 3717 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, along with famous modern dancer Ruth St. Denis. Ms. Denis once lived in the Valley and operated ...

Miss Ruth strikes a Denishawn pose in “The Peacock” (1914)

Dance · Visual arts
A photographer’s dream model, the exotic Ruth St. Denis habitually struck a dramatic pose for the camera. Fifty years later, in the San Fernando Valley, she was doing the same thing. Ruth St. Denis, “The Peacock” 1914, photo by J.D. Toloff, Evanston, IL

This was Denishawn

Dance
We’re looking forward to spending an evening  — picnic and free music concert — at outdoor-amphitheater Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park on June 12. Does everyone know the rich dance history of that neighborhood, whose prior name “Westlake” derived from the beautiful urban lake that the park surrounds? Read this, first, from the ...

Miss Ruth teaches

Dance · Film
Thank you, Marcus Galante.

Jane Sherman remembers Martha Graham

Dance · Film
In a prior post, we noted the passing of Jane Sherman, the last living Denishawn dancer. In an arts•meme exclusive, our friend Hugh Neely of Timeline Films of Culver City, California, provides us with footage of Jane reminiscing about fellow Denishawn alumni Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey.      Graham danced with Denishawn from 1921- ...

Denishawn’s last living dancer leaves us 3

Dance
Norton Owen, Director of Preservation of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, dispatched the following message: “Although I don’t believe you had the privilege of meeting her, I wanted to pass along the poignant news that the youngest and last of the Denishawn dancers, Jane Sherman (1908-2010), passed away last night at the age of 101.” The ...