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Tórtola Valencia - Modernism and Exoticism In Early Twentieth Century Dance
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Tórtola Valencia (1882-1955) was a solo dancer of the early twentieth century during the magic time of the Belle Époque (1880-1914). A classic dancer in the mode of Isadora Duncan and... More > Ruth St. Denis, she had an eclectic repertoire that included Oriental, biblical, Spanish, and other exotic subjects, as well as classical musical interpretations characterized by free, natural, expressive movement, such as in Chopin’s Funeral March and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite. Her philosophy of dance as the expression of the soul through interpretation of classical music echoed that of Isadora Duncan, the fountainhead of modern dance, and of Maud Allan, the infamous Salomé dancer.< Less
Tórtola Valencia - Modernism and Exoticism in Early Twentieth Century Dance
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Tórtola Valencia was a phenomenon in the world of dance in the beginning of the twentieth century. Her history remains unwritten, probably because she neglected to train disciples to carry on... More > her new tradition of modern Spanish dance. To this day, “Spanish dance” means mostly folkloric or flamenco performances, and those companies which create new dance in Spain or Spanish-influenced settings are incorporated into the world of western modern dance. In addition, Totola Valencia did not confine herself to her Spanish-themed dances, based on the richness of this Mediterranean/Arabic culture; she researched, as did Ruth St. Denis and other educated artistes of their times, cultures ranging from India to Arabia, Africa to native American Indian. From these researches, partly ethnographic, and partly proto-feminist, they created new dances, staged in dramatic ways but definitely not in the balletic conventions of their times.< Less
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