Female performance practice on the fin-de-siècle popular stages of London and Paris

Experiment and advertisement

By Catherine Hindson

Female performance practice on the fin-de-siècle popular stages of London and Paris


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9014-1
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: March 2013
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature, Theatre studies, Literary studies: general
  • Series: Women, Theatre and Performance


This study focuses on seven women who used the fin-de-siècle's popular stage as a space to develop their experimental performance practices: acts that won them international fame and critical acclaim.

The diverse entertainment careers of Maud Allan (1873-1956), Jane Avril (1868-1943), Loïe Fuller (1868-1926), Sylvia Grey (1866-1958), Yvette Guilbert (1867-1944), Letty Lind (1862-1923) and Cissie (Cecilia) Loftus (1876-1943) encompassed song, dance, impersonation and acting. In accounts, reviews, autobiographical writings, interviews and other cultural products associated with them it is clear that individual female celebrities understood their work as creative, professional and original performance practice. The absence of their creative work from studies of performance history reveals much about hierarchical approaches to cultural environments, gender and physical, non-scripted performances that demands to be interrogated.


The terrain:
1. The theatre of the city: urbanisation, performance and spectatorship in fin-de-siècle London and Paris
2. 'All the noblest arts . expressed in the measured movements of a perfectly shaped body': embodiment and spectacular performances of gender
3. Epidemics of enchanting creatures: Loïe Fuller and the Gaiety Theatre, London
4. Madness, dancing and the dancer: Jane Avril and the Salpêtrière hospital, Paris
5. 'They are wise who advertise, in every generation': image and the female celebrity
6. The art of imitation: staging the cult of celebrity
7. Moving away from the muse: Art Nouveau, Naturalist and Symbolist practices on the popular stage
8. Avant-Garde Salomania: 'the most famous dancing girl in history?'


Catherine Hindson is Lecturer in Performance Studies at the University of Bristol

Female performance practice on the fin-de-siècle popular stages of London and Paris

By Catherine Hindson

Paperback £15.99 / $23.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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