“I am large, I contain multitudes” Walt Whitman

Loïe Fuller, Le Dans du Lys, ca.1902. Photo: W.Isaiah Taber

“In relation to Loïe Fuller insofar as she spreads round about, with veils attached her person by the action of dance, everything has been said in articles, at times in poems. Exercise as invention, without employ, admits of an artistic rapture and at the same time an industrial accomplishment.

In the terrific bath of fabrics there swoons, radiant, cold, the dancer who illustrates many a giratory theme in which a distant fulsome woof tautens, giant petal and butterfly, unfurling all in a clear-cut and elementary order.

Her fusion with swift nuances shedding their hydroxic fantasmagoria of twilight and of grotto, such rapidities of passions, delight, mourning, ire: to move them, prismatic, with violence or diluted, the dizziness is needed of a soul like an airing of artifice. That a woman may associate the flying off of vestments with dance, potent or vast, to the point of sustaining them, infinitely as her expansion. The Lesson depends on this spiritual effect.”

Text Stéphane Mallarmé, National Observer, 1893 quoted from Art and Utopia, Restricted Action, pp.86