Five years ago, I attended a weekly hip-hop dance class at what used to be the Lime Door Studio in Shoreditch. We used to work on a dance over two weeks so if you missed the first week you had to play catch-up. One night this girl walked in and immediately picked up the moves that we had been working on for a week already. She smashed the routine with on the nail timing and her own personal flare, introduced herself as Twigs and blew us all away.
Over the years I have seen her cropping up, dancing in the background for different artists including Jessie J and I’ve pointed her out to whoever I was with, boasting “I danced with her once.”
She has since put being in the background behind her.
When she released her first EP a couple years ago I couldn’t wait to see her because I knew her performances would include some amazing dancing.
I’ve not been disappointed.
This is her US television debut on the prime time Jimmy Fallon Show where she performed Two Weeks.
Using fabric with lights and wind machines to create a billowing visual I was reminded of a pioneer of modern dance, Loie Fuller.
Loie Fuller (1862-1928) used silk costumes and coloured lighting in her performances. She is said to have invented the lighting effects on the silk by mixing compounds of chemical salts with colour gels. She apparently asked her friend Marie Curie for some uranium because she wanted to glow in the dark. Curie didn’t call her back.
Here is a version of the famous Serpentine Dance Fuller invented. Isn’t it hypnotising?
If you want to see more of Loie Fuller, she was not only influential on the dance scene; she also made a big impression on the art world. She has been imortalised in many beautiful Art Nouveau paintings, from the portraits of Toulouse-Lautrec and the posters of Jules Chéret and Alphonse Mucha to the sculptures of Pierre Roche and Théodore Rivière, as well as the photographs of Harry C. Ellis and Eugène Druet. A firm favourite, she was portrayed more often than any other woman of her time.