Loie (or Loïe) Fuller (January 15, 1862 – January 1, 1928) was a pioneer of modern dance. She had no dance training, but got experience acting on the stage. A chance experiment with an over-long skirt gave her ideas which she eventually developed into a dance.
Fuller was born Marie Louise Fuller in the Chicago suburb of Fullersburg (now Hinsdale, Illinois). She began her theatrical career as a professional child actress and later choreographed and performed dances in burlesque (as a skirt dancer), vaudeville, and circus shows.
Although Fuller became famous in America through works such as Serpentine Dance (1891), she felt that she was not taken seriously by the public. Her warm reception in Paris during a European tour persuaded Fuller to remain in France. A regular performer at the Folies Bergère with works such as Fire Dance, Fuller became the embodiment of the Art Nouveau movement. An 1896 film of the Serpentine Dance gives a hint of what her performance was like (the unknown dancer in the film is not Fuller).
Fuller's autobiographical memoire "Quinze ans de ma vie" was written in French and published by in 1908 with an introduction by Anatole France. She drafted her memoires again in English a few years later, which were published under the title "Fifteen Years of a Dancer's Life" by Herbert Jenkins (London) in 1913. The New York Public Library Jerome Robbins Dance Collection holds the nearly complete manuscript to the English edition and materials related to the French edition.
- Who's Who on the Stage: Volume 1 1910, pg.102 edited by Walter Browne, Frederick Arnold Austin
- Craine, Debra & Mackrell, Judith. 2000. The Oxford dictionary of dance. Oxford University Press, p194.
- Richard Nelson Current and Marcia Ewing Current, Loie Fuller: goddess of light, Northeastern Univ Press, May 1997, ISBN 1-55553-309-4.
- Giovanni Lista, Loïe Fuller, danseuse de la Belle Epoque, Hermann (Paris, 2006), ISBN 2-7056-6625-7 (in French).
- The New York Public Library, Register of the Loie Fuller Papers, 1892-1913, scope and content note.