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Published on Jul 7, 2012
Almost every important movie pioneer seems to have chosen the Serpentine Dance as an interesting subject for one or more films: the Skladanowsky brothers (1895), Dickson for Edison Manifacturing Company (1895+1896+1897), Lumiere brothers (1896), Demeny (1897), Alice Guy (1899+1900+1902), Melies (1899), G.A. Smith (1902), De Chomon (1908) and many others. Unfortunately none of the surviving films seem to contain a performance by the original dancer / choreographer Loie Fuller (despite some of them carrying her name in the title or otherwise crediting her as the dancer). Loie Fuller was a pioneer of modern dance and of theatrical lightning effects. She developed this dance in 1891 and combined her choreography with silk costumes illuminated by multi-colored lighting of her own design. In several of the Serpentine Dance movies her special colored lighting effects have been translated into fascinating hand-colored effects. Fuller also had a successful Fire Dance of which elements are often incorporated in Serpentine Dance performances, which were also often referred to as Butterfly Dance.