This study considers the figure of the female dancer in French literary, visual, and performing art from 1830 to 1930. It explores how manifestations of the la danseuse shape notions of Modernism and asks why dance occupies a privileged position in a variety of Modernist media.
Introduction 1. Choreographing the Coulisses: The Danseuse in Nineteenth-Century French Culture 2. Disembodying the Dancer/ Incorporating the Poem: The Symbolist Dance in Mallarmé and Valéry 3. Feministic' Aesthetics: Writing Dance and Performing Sex in Colette and Loïe Fuller 4. The Mechanical Dancer: Avant-Garde Performance and Film 5. Le Triangle Obligatoire': Dancer, Spectator, Narrator Coda