Ruth Saint-Denis


Ruth Saint-Denis (1877-1968), American dancer and choreographer.


Ruth St. Denis attended the performance of Isadora Duncan at the Duke of York's Theatre in London in the summer of 1908. Published in Duncan, Dorée & Pratl, Carol & Splatt, Cynthia (eds.): Life into art. Isadora Duncan and her world. New York, Norton, 1993.



  "It is difficult to find words with which to pay tribute to the indescribable genius of Isadora. I can only say briefly that she evoked in that pitifully small audience visions of the morning of the world.

  She had not only the spirit of Greece in her effortless, exquisitely modulated rhythms but she was the whole human race moving in that joy and simplicity and chidlike harmony that we associate with Fra Angelico’s angels dancing “the dance of the redeemed.”

  Mary Fanton Roberts said years afterwards that “Isadora was Dionysiac and Ruth St. Denis Apollon,” meaning that Isadora possessed the ecstatic liberation of the soul, which I translated into form, and it was some of this ecstatic quality of her soul that I received on this occasion, never to lose as long as I live.

  In one arm’s movement was all the grace of the world, in one backward flying of the head was all nobility."