OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, June 17, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-06-17/ed-1/seq-14/

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" , PLACE
An Adarnless garden (with two ex
ceptions), where the sun slants
through the green leaves of tall trees
and a labyrinth of shrubbery masks
the face of Mere-Public.
Tuesday or Thursday, in the
morning.
Los Angeleg femininity, regardless
of age, station or previous avoirdu
pois, has stripped off Dame Fashion's
foolish trimmings, donned the garb
of the mermaid and started in search
of Modern Venus medals via the Ruth
St Denis route of back-to-nature
beanty dancing.
The classes are held OUT OP
DOORS in an ideal garden at the
back of the Denlshawn establishment
here. ' ,
When the participants are ready
for their lesson, the are stripped of
all clothing except a very small cos
tume, which looks like an abbreviat
ed bathing suit, minus the usual skirt
Sandals protect their feet Their
heads are bare.
The setting for the unique scene
includes a big bathing pool, a foun
tain, and a large gravelled' space
sheltered by trees and shrubbery.
Ruth St. Denis, In a wonderful cos
tume of transparent veils, begins the
Venus course with a short talk and
then the real work, or is it play,
starts.
One of the two exceptions, Mr.
Shawn, husband of the clever dancer,
steps out into the sunlight from a
nearby tree and holds converse with
the graceful teacher. Then he steps
back, gives- & twist to a small box
and the strains of some classical se
lection drift into the air. .
Sh it's a Victrola. But it suits
the purpose admirably.
Spectators, also feminine, of
course, are tbo1 far away to hear the
directions But at a signal from the
much-veiled teacher, the bathing suit
brigade begins to move with a sort
of Delsarte arm and leg movement,
intended, of course, to create grade of
movement and suppleness, of limb.
Suddenly a mute, motionless fig
ure comes to life, which has hitherto
been quite unnoticed. A kindly as
sistant informs us that it is Mr.
Denishawn's valet an Egyptian, and
the other exception In the AJamless
Eden.
This man, in his native costume,
moves slowly about carrying a bowl
or basket of some sort on his head,
and is apparently there merely to add
atmosphere to the scene.
When the music stops, the class
stops and instructions are given for
the next drill. So the morning passes
and the mermaids pose and prance.-
Whether the patrons of Ruth St
Denis' picturesque and novel ins'titu
tion ever succeed in gaining an
eighth part of her own grace of
movement and sylph-likeness of fig
ure, they will, at least, learn the
meaning of free natural movements,
unhampered Jby the manacles of
modern costume.
oo
TOO SHY TO TELL THE TRUTH
Q -
"Were you shy In court the other
day when the judge asked you your
age?"
"Yes, I was shy about ten years."
t
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