chapter  I
Poet and Dancer before Diaghilev
Pages 28

The 'nineties poets wrote endlessly about dancers, welcomed foreign troupes and prepared the way for the serious impact of the Japanese Noh in the next decade. When Diaghilev came, defying the genres, overwhelming the senses with music and colour and movement, one or two people perhaps remembered her as having been the first to do it. It is worth remembering that the increase of prestige was contemporaneous with a major effort by anthropologists, liturgiologists, and folklorists to discover the roots of the dance in ritual of all kinds, and also with the development of a certain medical interest in dancing. Loie Fuller's progressive extinction of the dancing body was a necessary component of her success as an emblem of the Image, out of nature. The dance is perfectly devoid of ideas, less hampered by its means, than poetry, since it has not the strong antipathy of language towards illogic; yet it is not absolutely pure; the dancer is not inhuman.