Ethel Barrymore for “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines” (1901)

Ethel Barrymore (1879 – 1959) was regarded as the first “First Lady of the American Theater” she and her brothers, John and Lionel, dominated the American theater in the early 20th century.

In 1901, at age 21, she made her Walnut Street Theatre debut in the play “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines”.

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Ethel Barrymore in one of the costumes from “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines”, 1901 via

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Ethel Barrymore in one of the costumes from “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines”, 1901 via

ca. 1900-1910 --- A portrait of actress Ethel Barrymore in a lovely Edwardian gown. She and her brothers, John and Lionel, dominated the American theater in the early 20th century. --- Image by © CORBIS
 © CORBIS Ethel Barrymore in one of the costumes from “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines”, 1901 via

Sarah Bernhardt as Doña Maria de Neubourg, Queen of Spain in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo (1878)

Ruy Blas is a tragic drama by Victor Hugo. The scene is Madrid; the time 1699, during the reign of Charles II. Ruy Blas, an indentured commoner (and a poet), dares to love the Queen, Maria de Neubourg. The story centers around a practical joke played on the queen, by Don Salluste de Bazan, in revenge for being scorned by her.

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo via

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo via

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo via

Marianne Faithfull on stage as Ophelia (1969)

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Marianne Faithfull on stage for the play Hamlet at the Royal House in London, 1969 via

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Marianne Faithfull on stage for the play Hamlet at the Royal House in London, 1969 via

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Marianne Faithfull and Nicol Williamson in Hamlet directed by Tony Richardson, 1969 via

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Marianne Faithfull and Nicol Williamson in Hamlet directed by Tony Richardson, 1969 via

Costumes de Théâtre by Redfern (1908)

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Exposition à l’Hôtel des Modes. Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1908 via

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Exposition à l’Hôtel des Modes. Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme , 1908 via

Amazing Vintage Photos of Loïe Fuller and the Serpentine Dance

in the 1890s the amazing serpentine dance became popular throughout Europe and the United States. The new dance was created by Loïe Fuller (1862 – 1928). Fuller was a visionary artist whose novel genre of performance combined billowing costumes with dazzling lights and projections to conjure transformative imagery of hypnotic beauty. Born in Chicago, Fuller embarked on an early theatrical career as an actress and singer in vaudeville, stock companies, and burlesque before developing the dance style that made her famous in the early 1890s. Through experiments with silk drapery and colored lights, she evolved her first Serpentine Dance. Thereafter, the genre became known as “serpentine dancing” and was widely imitated.

Her warm reception in Paris during a European tour persuaded Fuller to remain in France and continue her work. A regular performer at the Folies Bergère with works such as Fire Dance, Fuller became the embodiment of the Art Nouveau movement. Fuller’s pioneering work attracted the attention, respect, and friendship of many French artists and scientists, including Jules Chéret, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, François-Raoul Larche, Henri-Pierre Roché, Auguste Rodin, Franz von Stuck, Maurice Denis, Thomas Theodor Heine, Koloman Moser, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Marie Curie.

Although they later became rivals, Fuller helped the career of a young Isadora Duncan. Fuller helped Duncan ignite her European career in 1902 by sponsering independent concerts in Vienna and Budapest.

At the turn of the 20th century, Fuller brought dance to the cutting edge of modernity, and her energy and ambition made her one of the most influential American women of her era. Fuller died in Paris, France, on January 2, 1928.

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Portrait of Loïe Fuller, by Frederick Glasier, 1902 via

The Serpentine Dance on Film

This is an 1896 film of Fuller performing the dance by pioneering film-makers the Lumière brothers. It gives a hint of what her performance was like. The Serpentine Dance was a frequent subject of early motion pictures, as it highlighted the new medium’s ability to portray movement and light. Many other filmmakers produced their own versions, distributing prints that had been hand-tinted to evoke (though not quite reproduce) the appearance of colored light projection. Fuller also appeared in films by Segundo de Chomon, fx. in the 1908 silent Création de la Serpentine (1908).