LOIE (is a fire that cannot be extinguished)

Claire Lefèvre remembers learning about Loie Fuller in dance history classes: she was one of the “mothers of modern dance”, up there with Ruth St. Denis and Isadora Duncan. She revolutionised theatre lighting and after moving to Paris in the 1890‘s she became famous worldwide for her hypnotising dances, where she twirled with illuminated fabrics to transform herself into butterflies, snakes, or flowers. “Every teacher mentioned how important she was for the field,” Claire Lefèvre says, “but no one ever told me she was a lesbian. Or that she was a colonial poster child.”

In this lecture-performance, Claire Lefèvre juxtaposes archival research with intimate storytelling to shine a light on systematic erasures within dance history. Looking at her own embodied archive through the prism of her encounters with Loïe Fuller over the years, she oscillates between crush and crash. Questioning her performance lineage with care, critique, and suspicion, Claire unveils the straightened and white-washed legacy of modern dance. One anecdote at the time, she sheds layers of (her) choreographic history which have shaped the way she moves through the world and on a stage.

While they take a closer look at Sophie Utikal’s stage design, or on their way home, or whenever they wish to engage with this material, the audience is invited to learn more about the entanglements between modern dance, white queerness, and the colonial project through an accompanying publication. A gathering of footnotes, poems and reading recommendations, the text further situates Loïe Fuller’s flamboyant campiness within the electricity crazed colonial context in which she lived and worked.

Created in close collaboration with textile artist Sophie Utikal, video artist Maanila Santos De Moraes and sound designer Zosia Hołubowska this piece channels Loïe Fuller’s stagecraft and invites the audience on a nerdy and melodramatic trip through dance history.

The audio version of THE FULLER PICTURE can be found here
The German translation of THE FULLER PICTURE can be found here


Concept and Performance Claire Lefèvre Stage design Sophie Utikal Video Maanila Santos De Moraes Sound Zosia Hołubowska Lighting Theresia Hausner Dramaturgay Sunanda Mesquita Outside eyes Elizabeth Ward, Mzamo Nondlwana Styling mirabella paidamwoyo* dziruni Production mollusca productions Graphic Design Ju Aichinger Copy Editing Kenneth Constance Loe German Translation and Wifing Ari Ban

A co-production by C.A.K.E. Verein für Kunst und Kultur and brut Wien

With the kind support of the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna and and the Federal Chancellery for the Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.

Thanks to Tanzfabrik Berlin, Anne Juren, Fred Gies, Gavin Youngs, Steffo Sourial, Irina Glinski, Veza Fernández, Cati Mistler, Eike Wittrock and Evandro Pedroni.