Thursday 2nd March 2017
There was nothing in her background to prepare Loïe to become the toast of the Folies Bergères in Paris and stages across the world. Then she created the 'Serpentine Dance'... 1887. After the death of her gold prospector father, 25-year-old Marie-Louise leaves her life in the American West to join her mother in New York and pursue her heart's dream - becoming an actress. One night on stage, becoming tangled in her long dress, she avoids falling by spinning the fabric in a graceful, magical gesture: the "Serpentine Dance" is born. The audience - shocked, then overwhelmed - calls out for more. Marie-Louise has become Loïe Fuller. She embarks on a new, hectic life, leaving New York, where imitators try to steal her radical innovations, for Paris. At the Folies Bergères, she dazzles the capital, and illustrious admirers fall at her feet. Toulouse Lautrec, the Lumière Brothers, Rodin... the Electric Fairy becomes an icon, the blazing symbol of a generation. But fame isn't all. An encounter.