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October 29, 1922 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1922-10-29

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he Denishawns And Their Art
(Virginia Vaughn Tryon) ished, something complete, and some- simple sets which Walter Hampden the dancers portraying mood for
The eternal search for "something thing perfect. is introducing in his portrayal of mood and note for note, the move-
different" need look no further than The properties which are used in Shakespearean roles, and for which he mets of the musical composition
the. achievements of Ruth St. Denis the variots dances are unusually has been commended. around which the dances themselves
and Ted Shawn in giving to the world simple. There are no elaborate set- The costumes used in all numbers were built. Such well-known com-
such interpretations of the dance as tings and stage effects. The dancers are strikingly original and beautiful. positions as Beethoven's "Sonata -Pa-
they brought out in their performance themselves are depended on in great They are graceful and, without .excep- thetique", first movement, and Liszt's
last week in Hill Auditorium. measure for the embodiment of the tion, become the wearers. The per- "Liebestraum" wre visualized with
Let us try to think what the work idea of the dance, and it is thus that I sonality of the dancer is hidden under rare understanding and appreciation
of Denishawn means to this country, their excellence must be strikingly the type of character which he is of their meaning and content. And
America is not noted for her artists, apparent, for it is well-known that a representing.., Thus. thb interpreta- accordingly, the costumes of the danc-
her poets, her writers. There is more great many performances rely on tion of the. idea is more perfectly ers were the simplest and most grace-
than we know to this talk of "com- props and scenery for a considerable brought out. Fach costume is in har- ful possible. Colorless, attracting at-
mercial America", and the "almighty measure of their success. Here the mony with the idea of the whole, and tention away from rather than toward
dollar". It is seldom that she can lack of such ornamentation ws most makes for unity, themselves, they struck no distract-
claim as preeminently her own a true noticeable, almost too noticeable at Particularly pleasing was the cos- ing note in the movements of the mu-
exponent of the great in Art. first. But the actual work of the tuming in the first group presented sic.
She has few great writers, still dancers stood out even more clearly during the evening. The numbers all The typical Spanish costumes worn
fewer painters, and great musicians by contrast. It reminds one of the represented "music visualizationa", by Miss St. Denis and Mr. Shawn in
who are American-born and Ameni- the Spanish Suite were most attrac-
tive. The gorgeous shawl which Miss
can-bred are almost not to be found.
As for dancers-dancers, that is, whoF ac n g h e N e w E ra I St. Denis wore her first number, in
can lay claim to any artistic preten-Jaddition to being a highly striking
tions whatever, there have been none feature of the dance, has an interest-
at all. America has been forced to!And Wsing story connected with it. It was
'rely on foreign dancers. The s- And What It Means To The presented to the dancer by Amelita
sian ballet lIas never had a counter- American University alli-Curi, the famous Metropolitan
part in this country.e esoprano.
The most spectacular costuming of
And now she has Denishawn, and (Delbert Clark) excluding idiots, imbeciles, and mor- the whole performance was perhaps
ofhre type, ant stey neDsenstirt The interviews published in The ons) have the same mental capacity,' seen in the dance drama, "Xochitl".
at the time she made her initial Sunday Magazine for last Sunday on and by equal education can reach The splendor of the ancient Mexican
tht subject of intellectual aristocracy equal heights, is on the face of it ab- Empire was gorgeously portrayed by
pearance in New York City a few and its bearing on the cilege enroll- surd. Those who reassure themselves a black wooden stand for a throne,
years ago. She worked hard for ret- ment problem, are characterized chief- with platitudes about the "freedom and-some striking Indian costumes
ognitin, hut when at last- it came, ly by defiance of biological and psy- and equality of all men" contradict worn by the dancing attendants, and
it was for all time. And it has in- chological knowledge on the one hand, the verified assertions of biology and most particularly, the magnificent
creased steadily. Ruth St. Denis and and confusion of the issue at stake psychology, to say nothing of inum- cloak and headdress of Ted Shawn as
her company of dancers have appear- on the other. erable cases in history which prove the Emperor. With these few ac-
ed in all the large cities of Europe A brief statement of the gist of the the exact opposite. In the United coutrements, it was easy for the spec-
and America, winning fresh triumphs original article, which started the dis- States today, every citizen has, theo- tacle to approach the splendor of the
wherever they have been seen. cussion, will be of use in bringing retically, the same opportunities, but Emperor's palace.
This Is something which America before our readers the exact facts of that assumption is too frequently con- The Oriental dances were simply
can really be proud of. The art of the case. strued to mean that every man is born made by the costumes. Each was
the dance, as interpreted by those of The article started with the thesis the equal of every other. This is a perfect representation of those of
Denishawn, is something entirely that college and university enrollment a pleasant fallacy which has no foun- the nation to be interpreted, and
new, entirely artistic, entirely Ameri- in general has exceeded the capacity dation in science, and has caused a without the atmosphere which they
can. And what is more, the dancers of the institutions to properly care vast Amount of misunderstanding. lent to the deuce, there would have
themselves realize this fact, ack- for it, an proposed a limiatio of A st been no representation at all. The
nowledge i, and are proud of it. "Our college enrollment by the expedient disproves the fallacious equality the-i entnorntaion tall.iThe
of raising entrance requirements. The ory is that of James I of Englandg
aim," said Miss St. Denis at the close . Xuan Yn, the Buddhist goddess of
of her performance here,"is to solos article referred to "the aristocracy of and William Shakespeare, his con-
day find the true interpretation of thethe intellect," defining it as the great temporary. The former, with all the .
a body of those who are mentally super- educational advantages of the time, in the whole performance.
isr. I(and with relatively unlimited facili- It is not every dancing company

It is not hard to see wherein the Mere was the stumbling block. One ties at his disposal has contributedIwhichnas in its repertoire so varied
art of the Denishawn dancers lies. It of the professors interviewed de- nothing for which he 'deserves to'an assortment or ideas, interpreted by
is only necessary to enumerate the Iclared the idea of an intellectual aris- be remembered, while the latter, dance forms. And those ideas are for
various elements which go into their tocracy to be entirely unfounded. HM with few educational opportunities, is i the most part, woven around master-
finished performance. Each number, insisted that all men's menlal capac- --but it is needless even to refer to'pieces of musical composition. So
each dance interpretation, is worked ities are fundamentally equal. "Given his fame. Every child -knows Shake-|much attention has been paid by
out in utter perfection of detail. Mu- equal opportunities, the serf will speare. them to the visualization of various
sic, costumes, properties, idea, and reach the same intellectual heights The chief trouble here seems to lie pieces 'of music, that it has become
most important of all, the human fig- as the king" in the construction placed by the has-! part of their art in itself. Two of
ures, combine to make something flu- I The statement that all men (even (Continued on Page Three) (Continued on Page Three)

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