Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
materially tp the charm of this beau- I ther increases tne desirable features
tiful dress. A large black velvet hat of the new bewitcher for milady's,
with a French blue ostrich tip fur- ' wardrobe.
TEN YEARS TO STAGEBARELEGGEtf DANCE
TEN YEARS MORE AND DANCERS WILL BE NUDE
SAYS TED SHAWN.
' BY TED SHAWN .
Master of Dance and Dancfng Part
ner of Ruth St Denis, His Wife
There is just one thing created by
God more beautiful than the human
body. It is the human body in mo-,
There is at present a ridiculous
convention that insists on clothes
when the idea calls for no clothes.
I refer to the aesthetic dance.
It is impossible to present Complex
movement and aesthetic ideas while
the body is encumbered by clothing.
A decade ago barefoot dancing and
filmy costumes were looked on by
press and pulpit with horror. Today
only the prude is shocked at such a
dance when nroperly rendered.
- A decade hence and the filmy cos
tume, meager as it is, will vanish as
far as the canons of art will permit
Why does (the average American
now look upon a nude canvas or
statue in repose and express his ad
miration? Because America is be
coming educated along artistic lines.
The average American is not the pos
sessor of a filthy mind, therefore he
can view such sights and admire.
But that same figure in motion
would shock him. Why is that?
The American is becoming edu
cated in regard to art, but his' edu
cation is not yet complete. He. has
yet to learn that the undraped hu
man figure in motion is equalled in
hjsauty by nothing.
I am about to say something which
may startle the reader, but it should
A decade hence I will stage my
own dance and the dances of my- en
tire company as nearly in the nude
as the canons of art permit. I would
not attempt it now because the peo
ple are not ready. They have yet to
learn completely to distinguish be
tween physical and spiritual beauty
and vulgarity and indecency.
People who cannot distinguish and
appreciate should not be permitted
to witness such spectacles. It would
be dangerous and disgusting.
As the day of the ballet, with its
corsets, its ruffles, its flesh tights,
passed, so will pass the filmy robes
The high-heeled shoe first gave
way to the sandal which in turn
surrendered to the bare foot Now
nve view bare feet without a sense of
In the not distant futureall of us
will learn that the feet dance no more
than do the legs, nor the legs than
the back and shoulders or the hips
When we witness the barefoot
dance, the remainder of the body en
cumbered with clothing, we se but
a small part of the virile, beauteous
and rhythmic movements of God's
greatest creation, the human body.
When a dance is given withput
clothing, however, it would be be
cause the idea demands the absolute
ly unencumbered body, and not
merely to tickle the eye of the be
holder. I would peform a minuet in
powdered wig, satins and buckles,
but "why, I ask you, should Adam in
Eden appear in an overcoat and
Ruth St. Denis ahd Ted Shawn in poses which permit bodily freedom
in the portrayal'of various classic dances. Mr. Shawn declares that cloth
, jng for certain types of dances will be more and more unnecessary as the