Female performance practice on the fin-de-siècle popular stages of London and Paris Experiment and advertisement

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-03-31
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press

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This study focuses on seven women who used the fin-de-siècle's popular stage as a space to develop their experimental performance practices: acts that won them international fame and critical acclaim. The diverse entertainment careers of Maud Allan (1873-1956), Jane Avril (1868-1943), Loïe Fuller (1868-1926), Sylvia Grey (1866-1958), Yvette Guilbert (1867-1944), Letty Lind (1862-1923) and Cissie (Cecilia) Loftus (1876-1943) encompassed song, dance, impersonation and acting. In accounts, reviews, autobiographical writings, interviews and other cultural products associated with them it is clear that individual female celebrities understood their work as creative, professional and original performance practice. The absence of their creative work from studies of performance history reveals much about hierarchical approaches to cultural environments, gender and physical, non-scripted performances that demands to be interrogated.

Author Biography

Catherine Hindson is Lecturer in Performance Studies at the University of Bristol.

Table of Contents

IntroductionTHE TERRAIN:1. The Theatre of the City: Urbanisation, Performance and Spectatorship in fin-de-siècle London and Paris2. 'All the Noblest Arts … Expressed in the Measured Movements of a Perfectly Shaped Body': Embodiment and Spectacular Performances of GenderSPACES:3. Epidemics of Enchanting Creatures: Loïe Fuller and the Gaiety Theatre, London4. Madness, Dancing and the Dancer: Jane Avril and the Salpêtrière Hospital, ParisIMAGE:5. 'They are Wise who Advertise, in Every Generation': Image and the Female Celebrity6. The Art of Imitation: Staging the Cult of CelebrityINTERSECTIONS:7. Moving Away from the Muse: Art Nouveau, Naturalist and Symbolist Practices on the Popular Stage8. Avant-Garde Salomania: 'The Most Famous Dancing Girl in History?'AfterwordBibliography

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