Aesthetic dance : another term for the early solo dance performances.

Alienist: a 19th century term for psychiatrist.

Americanized Delsarte: Delsarte's ideas were popularized by Steele MacKaye in the United States, where they have influenced modern dance.

Avant-garde: the cutting edge of an artistic movement.

Belasco, David: a very important theatrical producer in the late 19th century in New York and Europe. Ruth St. Denis danced in his production of Zaza when it toured Europe.

Bernhardt, Sarah: one of the most important tragic actresses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who influenced Ruth St. Denis.

Black Crook: (1866) by Charles M. Barras (1826-73), is often cited as the first musical comedy, but this American stage success did not create a new genre. It was a combination of extravaganza, burlesque, ballet, and melodrama, and its book was strongly influenced by Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz. As the musical theater developed on 19th-century British and American stages, it accommodated a variety of formats and specialty performers.

Burlesque, and vaudeville: were popular entertainment forms that developed in the 19th century to meet the needs of the masses of working people who lived in the rapidly growing cities of Great Britain and the United States and--to a lesser extent--in many cities on the Continent. Vaudeville in America and music hall in England were variety shows of unconnected musical, dancing, comedy, and specialty acts. The word vaudeville originated in France and probably derived from the topical songs of the Vau de Vire, the valley of the Vire River in Normandy. Burlesque began as comic parodies of well-known topics or people. The word came from the Italian burla, "jest."

Chiton: After the Persians were driven from Greece in 479 BC, a reaction against Oriental fashion found expression in the wearing of the chiton. This was similar to the peplos but without the patterning and was usually girdled twice. When the chiton was stitched together down the sides, it could be made to form short sleeves. The materials used were linen or wool, depending on the season. For men, the chiton could be knee length. Both men and women draped a large rectangular robe, called a himation, over the chiton

Chopin, Frederic Francois: was one of the most eminent composers of piano music. He was born on Mar. 1, 1810, in Zelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, Poland. Exhausted by a concert tour of England and Scotland in 1848 and suffering from tuberculosis, he died in Paris on Oct. 17, 1849.

Copland, Aaron: b. Brooklyn, N.Y., Nov. 14, 1900, d. Dec. 2, 1990, was one of the leading American composers of the 20th century. Copland is perhaps most famous for his superb ballet scores, such as Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944), which are all based on American folklore.

Corps de ballet: the main company of a ballet troupe, not including the soloists.

Craig, Gordon Edward: b. Jan. 16, 1872, d. July 29, 1966, an English scene designer, producer, actor, and writer about the theater, exerted a pervasive influence on modern theater with his stagecraft and his theories on theater.

Cubism: was a completely new, non-imitative style of painting and sculpture that was co-founded by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in 1908 and survived in its purest form until the mid-1920s. It paved the way for other art revolutions, such as Dada and Surrealism, and was seminal to much of abstract art. It also fostered newer modes of art, such as Orphism and Futurism, and even affected the formal structure of styles whose origins had predated cubism, such as expressionism.

Curie, Marie born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw, Poland, on Nov. 7, 1867, d. July 3, 1934, studied the mysterious radiation that had been discovered in 1896 by Henri Becquerel. With her husband and Henri Becquerel she won the Nobel Prize for physics for the joint discovery of radioactivity. She was the first female lecturer at the Sorbonne, and in 1908 she was appointed professor. For the isolation of pure radium, Marie Curie received a second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time for chemistry. Her death, on July 4, 1934, of leukemia was undoubtedly caused by prolonged exposure to radiation.

Dadaism (or Dada): a movement begun by Marcel Duchamp who, in 1915, had moved to New York City and in the same year coined the term "ready-made," was the chief anticipator of Dada. For his ready-made art, Duchamp took mundane objects such as snow shovels, urinals, and bottle racks, gave them titles, and signed them, thus turning their context from utility to aesthetics.

Dalcroze, Emile Jaques: b. July 6, 1865, d. July 1, 1950, was a Swiss composer, music teacher, and originator of the system of rhythmic education known as eurhythmics. Dissatisfaction with current teaching methods prompted his experiments based on the theory that the source of musical rhythm is in the body.

Daly, Augustin: b. Plymouth, N.C., July 20, 1838, d. June 7, 1899, was an American playwright and theater manager who wrote and adapted about 90 plays. These include Leah the Forsaken (1862), about anti-Semitism; Under the Gaslight (1867), a melodrama; and Horizon (1871), a frontier drama. Many of the great stars of the age appeared in theaters that Daly managed after 1869 in New York and London. He disapproved, however, of the star system and emphasized ensemble performances and stage realism. Premieres of his productions were considered major social events.

Delsarte, Francois: b. Nov. 11, 1811, d. July 20, 1871, was a French actor and teacher who called acting "the science of movement." He codified external gestures into three areas (eccentric, concentric, and normal) emanating from three parts of the body (head, torso, and limbs.) Although Delsarte emphasized the scientific study of human behavior through bodily movement, his method fell into disfavor in the 20th century, when it proved less natural and realistic than such acting methods as those of Konstantin Stanislavsky.

Denis, Ruth (Ruth St. Dennis,): b. Somerville, N.J., Feb. 1, 1877, d. July 21, 1968. She was a tireless champion of dance as an independent art form at a time when it was considered little more than a minor branch of show business or an adjunct to grand opera. Her greatest achievement was to have created serious dance from the materials of popular theater. Without any formal training and inspired by a cigarette advertisement, St. Denis created her first work, Radha, in 1906, an oriental dance piece set to music from Leo Delibes's Lakme, in which she herself appeared. Later that year she began a highly successful 3-year tour of Europe. In 1915 she danced in D. W. Griffith's epic film, Intolerance. With her husband, Ted Shawn, whom she had married in 1914, she founded (1915) the Denishawn dance school in Los Angeles, where Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, among others, studied. In 1932, with the breakdown of the Shawn marriage, Denishawn and its dance company were dissolved. St. Denis, who wrote an autobiography in 1939, continued to appear as a soloist until shortly before her death at the age of 91.

Duncan, Isadora (Dora Angela), b. San Francisco, May 26, 1877, d. Sept. 14, 1927. She rejected the traditions of ballet technique and costuming and created her own free style, which was based on naturalistic movement and performed barefoot in loose, flowing tunics. Dancing to concert music of classical composers, she received the attention of artistic groups. She made occasional tours of major European cities and the United States. Duncan first visited Greece in 1903 and Russia in 1904, where she influenced Serge Diaghilev and Mikhail Fokine in their plans for reform of ballet. In her personal life she had tempestuous love affairs with the stage designer Gordon Craig and the millionaire Paris Singer; she had a child by each of them but the children were drowned in a tragic auto accident in 1913. In 1921 she visited the Soviet Union and there married the poet Sergei Yesenin, who left her in 1923. Duncan left Russia and returned to France, where she gave her last performance in Paris in July 1927. In Nice, in September of that year, she was strangled instantly when her scarf caught in the wheel of her sports car; that December her autobiography, My Life, was published.

Duse, Eleanora: an important tragic actress at the turn of century who influenced Martha Graham.

Elocution: 19th century term for oratorical speech.

Fancy dancers: and old term for ballet dancing

Fanny Elssler: (originally Franziska Elssler), b. June 23, 1810, d. Nov. 27, 1884, was, along with Marie Taglioni, the greatest of ballerinas in the romantic era, Taglioni being notable for her spirituality, Elssler for her passion and dramatic flair. Elssler, the daughter of Joseph Haydn's copyist and valet K. L. F. Elssler, studied at the Vienna Court Opera with Jean Aumer and made her stage debut at the age of eight. In 1834 she danced in Paris with great success and studied further with Auguste Vestris. Elssler went to the United States in 1840, where she created a sensation, especially in Washington, D.C. Her visits to Russia between 1848 and 1851 were even more triumphant. Elssler's interpretation of Giselle, with its emphasis on the tragic events of act 1, became a model for subsequent ballerinas. She retired from the stage in 1851.

Folies Bergeres: A theater, which opened in Paris on May 1, 1869, was the birthplace of the modern musical revue. Still performing, the revue has typically featured comedy acts, partially nude women, lavishly colorful and spectacular productions, and singing stars such as Maurice Chevalier. In the United States, the Folies inspired the Ziegfeld Follies and the opulent Las Vegas revue.

Freud, Sigmund: b. May 6, 1856, d. Sept. 23, 1939, the creator of Psychoanalysis, was the first person to scientifically explore the human unconscious mind; his ideas profoundly influenced the shape of modern culture by altering man's view of himself.

Fuller, Loie: (originally Mary Louise Fuller), b. Fullersburg, Ill., Jan. 22, 1862, d. Jan. 21, 1928, created a furor with her novel use of theatrical techniques in the dance. Her influence was felt mainly in Europe, where she first appeared in 1892 (in Paris.) She was a self-trained dancer and with her innovative ideas (above all, the manipulation of long, diaphanous skirts under continually changing lights) caused a sensation. Popular with theatergoers, she also became a cult figure for many of the artists and writers of her time such as Auguste Rodin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Stephane Mallarme to whom she seemed the embodiment of art.

Fuller-Maitland, John: The music critic for the Times of London in 1900 when Isadora Duncan first went to London. He encouraged Duncan to perform to symphonic music.

Futurism: movements in modern art originating in the late 19th, early 20th century.

Gels: the colored filters placed in front of a theatrical lighting instrument that colors the light emitted by the instrument. They were originally made out of gelatin.

Good Health Movement: 19th century movement stressing the importance of diet, exercise and dress reform for women.

Graham, Martha: b. Allegheny, Pa., May 11, 1894, d. Apr. 1, 1991, developed a new vocabulary of movement and from it created a body of powerfully expressive dances. Graham decided to become a dancer when she moved to California and as a teenager saw Ruth St. Denis perform. In 1916 she enrolled at the Denishawn school, and from 1919 to 1923 she toured with the Denishawn troupe. After dancing in vaudeville and teaching at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., Graham opened her own studio in New York City in 1927, working with the musician-composer Louis Horst. Graham created a language of angular, percussive gestures originating in the contraction and release of the muscles of the lower torso. Her company is still active and tours nationally and internationally. There are several books listed the bibliography about her.

Greenwich Village: an area of New York City known for its artistic activity.

Halle, Charles Sir: b. Karl Halle, Apr. 11, 1819, d. Oct. 25, 1895, was an English conductor and pianist of German birth. In 1836 he went to Paris, where he became friendly with Frederic Chopin, Hector Berlioz, and Franz Liszt. He first visited England in 1843, returning permanently in 1848 because of the revolution on the continent. In 1857 he conducted an orchestra at the great Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester; this group became known in 1858 as the Halle Orchestra, now the oldest permanent orchestra in England. Halle was knighted in 1888 and appointed first principal of the Royal College of Music in Manchester in 1893.

Humphrey, Doris: b. Oak Park, Ill., Oct. 17, 1895, d. Dec. 29, 1958, one of the most influential figures in the early period of American modern dance, was equally renowned as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She was a member of the Denishawn Company from 1917 to 1928, during which time she began to choreograph. In 1928 she and her partner Charles Weidman broke away from Denishawn and formed a school and a dance company, which lasted until 1940. Humphrey's theory of dance was based upon the principle of "fall and recovery." In 1944 she retired as a dancer because of arthritis but continued to teach and choreograph at the Juilliard School and at Connecticut College.

Isadorables: A company of dancers that was made up of some of Duncan's pupils and their pupils and performed works from the Duncan repertoire.

Khayyam, Omar: a Persian poet whose full name was Abu al-Fath Omar ben Ibrahim al-Khayyam, b. 1050?, d. 1122, is best known in the West as a result of Edward Fitzgerald's popular translation of the Rubaiyat. Among his contemporaries Khayyam was famous as a mathematician and astronomer. His work on algebra was known throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, and he also contributed to a calendar reform. His fame as a poet, however, has eclipsed his scientific achievements, even though versions of the forms and verses used in the Rubaiyat existed in Persian literature before Khayyam, and the number of its verses that can be attributed to him with certainty is very small.

Kodaly, Zoltan: b. Dec. 16, 1882, d. Mar. 6, 1967, was, after Bela Bartok, the foremost Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist of the 20th century.

Leg dancers: burlesque dancers who wore tights and revealed their legs. This was considered risque.

Mallarme, Stephane: b. Paris, Mar. 18, 1842, d. Sept. 9, 1898, the exquisite poet and master of French symbolism, exerted an influence disproportionate to the quantity of his published work. His famous Tuesday evening receptions were attended by many of the most famous artists and literary figures of the day. After a harrowing spiritual crisis in 1866 he developed into a hermetic poet preoccupied with eternity and nothingness. Some of his finest poetry is written in the compressed form of the sonnet.

Melodrama: is a rigidly conventionalized genre of popular drama, theatrical rather than literary in appeal, characterized by rapid and exciting physical action, sharply contrasted and simplified characters, and colorful alternations of violence, pathos, and humor. The central situation in melodrama--victimization of helpless innocence by powerful evil forces--gives rise to four basic characters: the hero and the heroine, a comic ally who assists them, and the villain against whom they are pitted. The motive force of melodrama is the villain, a dynamic and sinister figure recognized by the audience as the embodiment of evil. The denouement, brought about by reversals, is usually a happy one for the sympathetic characters, resulting in just rewards and punishments and affirming the laws of morality and the benevolent workings of providence.

Mise en scene: the setting, decor, or mood of a performance

Mitchell, Silas Weir: b. Philadelphia, Feb. 15, 1829, d. Jan. 4, 1914, gained respect as both a physician and a writer. A specialist in nervous disorders, he evolved a rest cure that became a standard method for treating nervous breakdowns. He wrote historical fiction, notably Roland Blake,(1886) and Hugh Wynne,(1897)some poetry, and a biography (1904) of the young George Washington.

Nietzsche, Frederic Wilhelm: b. Oct. 15, 1844, d. Aug. 25, 1900, was a German philosopher who, together with Soren Kierkegaard, shares the distinction of being a precursor of Existentialism.

Noguchi, Isamu: b. Los Angeles, Nov. 17, 1904, d. Dec. 30, 1988, is best known for his evocative abstract creations. In the 1940s Noguchi designed sets, costumes, and properties for Martha Graham's dance company, notably for Appalachian Spring (1944) and Night Journey (1947).

Pater, Walter: a 19th century art and aesthetic theorist.

Romantic Ballet: At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century ballet began to produce works still revived in the present time and thus capable of direct experience. The French ballet La Fille Mal Gardee (1789) is the oldest regularly performed work in current world repertoire. Choreographed by Jean Dauberval, the ballet used peasant characters and occasional rustic dances, thereby prefiguring the style of the French romantic ballet of the 1830s and '40s. The technical reforms that resulted in the romantic movement were achieved by the Italian ballet masters Salvatore Vigano and Carlo Blasis, and by the Frenchman Charles Didelot, who encouraged the use of pointe technique in "toe shoes" (shoes with blocked toes) for women. Filippo Taglioni's La Sylphide (1832) was the first of the romantic ballets danced by his daughter, Marie Taglioni. La Sylphide marked an advance in dance technique for the simulation of an "unearthly" floating continuity in the dance movement. In this ballet and in Adolphe Adam's Giselle (1841) the modern idea of the ballerina was born. Carlotta Grisi was the first Giselle; her dances were choreographed by Jules Perrot, who is known as well for the Pas de Quatre (1845), a dance divertissement choreographed for Taglioni, Fanny Cerrito, Grisi, and Lucile Grahn, the four reigning ballerinas of their age.

Rubbiayat: see Khayyam, Omar.

Shawn, Ted (Edwin Myers): b. Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 21, 1891, d. Jan. 9, 1972, as a performer, choreographer, producer, author, and teacher, helped to establish dance in America. As a college student in Denver, Shawn was introduced to dance and decided to become a dancer. Shawn envisioned an American dance art drawn from dances of native Americans and immigrant cultures that were part of American society. With his wife, Ruth St. Denis, Shawn established the Denishawn company and school. From 1933 to 1940 he toured with his troupe of Men Dancers, presenting dances filled with virile movements derived from primitive dancing, labor, and sports, and establishing dancing as a respectable profession for men. Shawn also directed a summer dance festival (1941-72) and school (1933-72) at Jacob's Pillow, Mass.

Skirt dancers: a label for dance that reveals the body through the manipulation of the skirt fabric

Stebbins, Genevieve: one of the principle proponents of Americanized Delsarte.

Symphonic music: any music composed for a symphony orchestra.

Tamiris, Helen (Becker): b. New York City, Apr. 24, 1905, d. Aug. 4, 1966, was an American dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Trained in ballet, she performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company and appeared in the Music Box Revue (1924). Turning her interest to the then-burgeoning field of modern dance choreography, she presented her first concert in 1927 and appeared annually in recitals with her own group from 1930 on. From 1930 to 1945 she maintained her School of American Dance. She was associated with the Group Theater and helped establish the WPA-Federal Theater New York Dance Project. During the 1940s and '50s, Tamiris devoted herself to choreography for Broadway musicals, notably a revival of Showboat (1946), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Touch and Go (1949), and Plain and Fancy (1955).

Tutu: the net skirt worn by ballerinas. It can either be long or short.

Uncle Celestine: A melodrama performed by Loie Fuller.

Vaudeville, and burlesque: were popular entertainment forms that developed in the 19th century to meet the needs of the masses of working people who lived in the rapidly growing cities of Great Britain and the United States and--to a lesser extent--in many cities on the Continent. Vaudeville in America and music hall in England were variety shows of unconnected musical, dancing, comedy, and specialty acts. The word vaudeville originated in France and probably derived from the topical songs of the Vau de Vire, the valley of the Vire River in Normandy. Burlesque began as comic parodies of well-known topics or people. The word came from the Italian burla, "jest."

Wigman, Mary (Marie Wiegmann): b. Hannover, Germany, Nov. 13, 1886, d. Sept. 18, 1973, was, during the 1920s and '30s, the most highly regarded modern dancer and choreographer in Central Europe and one of the principal proponents of modern dance. Wigman studied first with Emile Jaques Dalcroze and then with Rudolf von Laban, whose assistant she later became. She gave her first solo recital in 1919 and in the following year opened a highly successful school in Dresden. The style of dancing Wigman evolved was, in her words, mostly "dark, heavy, and earthbound." It was an attempt, by means of personally conceived movement, to increase the emotional expressiveness, and therefore the relevance, of dance. Wigman retired as a performer in 1942. Her ideas and teaching methods were brought to the United States by her pupil Hanya Holm, who opened a Mary Wigman School of Dance in New York in 1931.