1926 St. Denis and Shawn Dance Program

Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers, Program   8 December 1926

Philharmonic Auditorium Fifth and Olive Streets

L.E. Behymer Presents

Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers

Wednesday Evening, December 8, 1926

Program (Subject to change)

Part I. Music Visualizations:

1. Sonata Pathetique. 1st Movement (Beethoven) . . . Ensemble

2. Greek Veil Plastique to Ballet Music from the Opera Orpheus (Gluck)

3. Revolutionary Etude (Chopin) . . . Ted Shawn and Misses Graham, Lawrene and Howry

4. Valse Caprice (Chaminade) . . . Doris Humphrey

5. Waltz op. 33 No. 15 (Brahms) and Liebestraum (Liszt) . . . Ruth St. Denis

6. Suite for Violin and Piano (Schutt) . . . Ensemble


Part II. Xoxhitl

A Dance Drama based upon an ancient Toltec Legend.

Music composed by Homer Grunn. Scene designed by Francisco Cornejo.

Costumes designed by Mr. Shawn and Mr. Cornejo.

Choreography by Ted Shawn.

Scene-Interior of the Palace of Tepancaltzin, the Toltec Emperor.


Tepancaltzin, Emperor of the Toltecs . . . Ted Shawn

Xochitl the Flower . . . Jeordie Graham

The Father of Xochitl . . . Charles Weidman

The Flute Player . . . George Steares

Maidens, court dancers, etc.

The Legend: The father of Xochitl discovers that an intoxicating liquor can be brewed from the maguey plant. He and his daughter bring the discovery to the Toltec Emperor. Xochitl dances for her king, who inflamed by the liquor, forces his evil attentions upon her. Her father has been purposely lured from the room but hearing her scream, rushes back and is about to plunge the knife into Tepancaitzin, when with usual feminine inconsistency, Xochitl begs that his life be spared. The Emperor, in love and gratitude calls in his court to witness the making of Kochitl his first wife-Empress of the Toltecs.

Part III. Divertissements:

1. Dance of the Black and Gold Saree (Stoughton) . . . Ruth St. Denis

2. Sinhalese Devil Dance (Vaughan) . . . Ted Shawn, Charles Weidman, George Steares

3. Serenade d'Amour (von Blon) . . . Doris Humphrey

4. Three Little Maids (Bond) . . . Misses Sherman, Graham, Douglas

5. Danse Americaine (Dent Mowrey) . . . Charles Weidman

6. Spanish Suite:

(a) Shawl Plastique (Granados) . . . Ruth St. Denis

(b) Flamenco Dance . . . Ted Shawn

(c) Danza de quatro . . . Ted Shawn and Misses Day and Graham, Mr. Weidman

Part IV. Ishtar of the Seven Gates:

A mystic Dance of the Babylonian Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Creation. Choreography by Ruth St. Denis. Music arranged from works of Chas. T. Griffes. Scene by Robert Lee Studio. Interior of ancient Babylonian Temple of Ishtar.

The Ritual:

First phase-The Descent of Ishtar into the Lower World to revivify her lover Tammuz.

Second Phase-Three Dances of Generation: (a) Love, (b) Hunting and the Arts, (c) Spiritual Regeneration.

Third Phase-The Love-Death of Tammuz and the Return of Ishtar.

The Story: The story of Ishtar of the Seven Gates is founded upon the poem of Ancient Babylonia translated by Prof. Jastrow in his "Babylonian and Assyrian Civilizations" and deals with the descent of Ishtar into the underworld of Aralu, through the Seven Gates in search of lover Tammuz, who personifies vegetation and the manifestations of spring and summer, and is correlative to Adonis in the Greek Mythology. At each of the Gates, Ishtar is stopped by the Warden of the Gates, and is stripped of her jewels at the command of the Queen of the Lower World. She finally arrives in the "Place of No Return" and revivifies her lover Tammuz, and takes him up to the sunshine and brightness of the earth. Then for the edification of her worshippers she performs the three Dances of Generation. At the end of the summer after the fullness of the manifestations of Nature, Tammuz descends and the maidens of the Queen of the Lower World again claim him for their own. Ishtar recovers her jewels and ascends the Seven Gates to her shrine. The lights of the Temple are lowered and ritual is over.


Ishtar . . . Ruth St. Denis

Tammuz . . . Ted Shawn

Ereshkigal . . . Doris Humphrey

Gilgamesh . . . Charles Weidman

Celebrants of the Ritual . . . Denishawn Dancers


Friday Matinee and Evening, December 10, 1926


(Subject to change)

Part I. Music Visualizations:

1. Second Arabesque (Debussy) . . . Misses Day, Douglas, Sherman

2. Adagio Pathetique (Godard) . . . Ted Shawn

3. Scherzo Waltz (Ilgenfritz) . . . Doris Humphrey

4. Album Leaf and Prelude (Scriabin) . . . Ernestine Day and Charles Weidman

5. Waltz (de Lachau) . . . Doris Humphrey and Denishawn Dancers

6. Waltz, Op. 33, No. 15 (Brahms) and Liebestraum (Liszt) . . . Ruth St. Denis

7. Voices of Spring (Strauss) Pictorial inspiration from Botticelli's painting, Primavera in Florence . . . Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, George Steares and the Misses Day, Graham, Douglas, Sherman and Howry

Part II. The Feathers of the Dawn. A Pueblo Pastoral.

Choreography by Ted Shawn. Music by Charles Wakefield Cadman. Scene by Robert Law Studio. Costumes are authentic Hopi Indian pieces and duplications by Denishawn. Masques and head-dresses are replicas of authentic pieces, made by Earle Franke.

The Action: Legend has it that a feather blown into the air at dawn, if caught by a breeze and carried out of sight, marks a propitious day. A Hopi youth, in the village of Walpi, on an Arizona mesa, takes this a a sign that this is the day to propose marriage to the daughter of the chief of the tribe. Various dances of the tribe are performed. The Corn Grinding Song, the Basket Dance, Dance of the Corn Maiden, the Eagle Dance, the Proposal Ceremony, the Blessing of the Bride, the Wolf Dance, and the Assemblage of the Catcinas (Hopi Gods) for the wedding.


Kwahu, the Eagle . . . Ted Shawn

Kodeh, daughter of the chief . . . Ernestine Day

The Old Crone . . . Pauline Lawrence

Youths and maidens of the village

Part III Divertissements:

1. Quan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy . . . Ruth St. Denis

2. Garland Plastique . . . Anne Douglas and Misses Sherman, Lawrence, Day, Hawry

3. American Sketches:

(a) Invocation to the Thunderbird (Sousa) . . . Ted Shawn

(b) A Creole Belle (Gottshalk) . . . Doris Humphrey

(c) Crapshooter (Eastwood Lane) . . . Charles Weidman

(d) Around the Hall (Lane) . . . Anne Douglas and Ted Shawn

(e) The Gringo Tango (Lane) . . . Ernestine Day and Ted Shawn

(f) A Legend of Pelee, Hawaiian Volcano Goddess (Vaughan) Ruth St. Denis

(g) The Boston Fancy, 1854 (Lane) . . . Miss Humphrey, Sherman, Graham, Lawrence and Messrs. St. Denis, Weidman, Steares and Ted Shawn

Part IV. Cuadro Flamenco: A Spanish Gypsy Dance Scene

Characters: Cuadro Flamenco-Anne Douglas, Jeordie Graham, Ernestine Day, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman

Flower Sellers-Edith James, Jane Sherman, Ara Martin, Mary Howry.

Sevillanos . . . George Steares, B. St. Denis

Lalanda, a Famous Matador . . . Ted Shawn

La Macarena, a dancer, the idol of all Seville . . . Ruth St. Denis

Cuadro Flamenco-The Story:

It is evening of the day of a great bull-fight. The cafe life is just beginning to become gay. The gitanas are mingling among the men of the concert hall, and the flower-girls are plying their trade. La Macarena, so named because she is the idol of that quarter of Seville, famous for its beautiful dancers, is one of the Cuadro Flamenco and the curtain rises discovering the habitues of the cafe under the spell of her song. When she finishes, the other dancers of the group each take part. Then Lalanda enters in full regalia, and is pu(sic)suaded to recount his afternoon's triumph in the Plaza de Toros. La Macarena comes back into the cafe and Lalanda, who has long been her ardent suitor, demands an answer to his proposal of marriage. He promises to buy her the most beautiful shawl in all Seville, if she will become his bride. She agrees and he goes to the shawl merchant next door, returning with a chest full of gorgeous fabrics. He offers them one by one, the fifth and last wins her. The entire assemblage celebrates their betrothal in typical gypsy manner.


Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn and their Denishawn Dancers

Misses Doris Humphrey, Anne Douglas, Jeordie Graham, Ernestine Day, Pauline Lawrence, Mary Howry, Nina Garret, and Jane Sherman

Messsrs Charles Weidman, George Steares, B. St. Denis, Edwad McLean, Clifford Vaughan, Pianist-Conductor

Monday and Saturday Evening, Dec. 6 and 11

Saturday Matinee, December 11, 1926

Program (Subject to Change)

Part I. Music Visualizations:

1. Whims (Schumann) . . . Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Misses Day, Douglas Garrett, Lawrence and Howry.

2. (a) Danse Sacree (Debussy) . . . Jeordie Graham

(b) Danse Profane (Debussy) . . . Ted Shawn

3. Chouer Danse (Stcherbatcheff) . . . Misses Day, Douglas, Sherman

4. At the Spring (Liszt) . . . Doris Humphrey

6. Waltzes (Schubert) . . . Ruth St. Denis

7. Allegresse (Sindig) . . . Ted Shawn with Doris Humphrey and ensemble


Part II. Straussiana: A Viennese Dance Medley.

Scene: A public Park in Vienna about the time of the height of the popularity of the composers.

Choreography by Ted Shawn. Strauss. All music chosen from the works of Johann, Josef and Edw. Stauss.


The Prima Donna from the Opera . . . Ruth St. Dennis

Captain of the Hussars . . . Ted Shawn

The Ballerina . . . Doris Humphrey

Her Protector . . . Edward Mcean

Hussars . . . Messrs. Weidman, Steares and St. Denis

Waitresses, flower girl, a manager, young ladies, a patron of the cafes.


Part III. Gleanings from Buddha-Fields.

Prologue: Invocation to the Buddha (Vaughan) . . . Ruth St. Denis

1. Japan. Momiji-Gari (Maple-leaf-viewing party).

The Story: Koremochi, a famous general, going up to the mountainside to a place renowned for the beauty of the red maple leaves finds a picnic in progress and inquires of the young ladies who is giving it. They tell him the party is that of Lady Sarashina, a court lady, who enters and invites him to join them. Wtih becoming appearance of reluctance he accepts, and is entertained by the dancing of first Lady Sarashina's attendants and them by the Princess herself. During this time he ahs been plied with drugged sake (Japanese rice wine) whereupon he falls asleep, and the party disappears. In a dream, the Mountain God comes and tries to warn the general that the Lady Sarashina is in reality a foul demon in disguise who has lured him to this spot and intends to destroy him. The General awakened, looks about and remembers the dream. He sees the demon who rushes in to attack him and would have destroyed him except for a magic sword which protects him even when stupified by the demon's magic, and eventually enables him to tree the demon.

The Demon (first disguised as Lady Sarashina) . . . Ted Shawn

General Koremochi . . .George Steares

The Mountain God . . . Charles Weidman

Attendents of Lady Sarashina . . . Denishawn Dancers

The music has been especially written for this dance drama by Clifford Vaughan, who has based his composition on the authentic Japanese originals. Mr. Shawn was materially aided in his adaptation of what is a classic of the kabuki stage in Japan by the great Koshiro Matsumoto, who himself has starred in the part for years.

The costumes, wigs and properties were made for Mr. Shawn under the supervision of the Imperial Theater of Tokio.

2. China:

(a) White Jade (Clifford Vaughan) . . . Ruth St. Denis

(b) General Wu's Farewell to His Wife-A memory of Mei Lan Fang

The Story; The General suffers overwhelming defeat in battle. He returns to his home, and his wife, who has been rowing on the lake and in the garden gathering flowers, tries to comfort him. She tries to divert him with the dancing of her handmaids. Finally he tells her that, surrounded on all sides death is certain, and saying good bye, attempts to leave. The wife seizes his swords, with which she dances and then commits suicide rather than outlive him one moment.

The General . . . Charles Weidman

His Wife . . . Anne Douglas

His Mother . . . Ernestine Day

The Property Man . . . George Steares

Dancers . . . Misses Sherman, Lawrence, Howry, Graham

The music is especially composed by Clifford Vaughan. The conventions of the Chinese theatre are somewhat followed in that the property man is acccepted as invisible by a convention of long standing, and the change of scene is suggested by a rearrangement of furniture. The ballet is based on a long play of Mei Lan Fang's who performed it especially in honor of Miss St. Denis and Mr. Shawn at a private performance in Peking. Miss St. Denis produced the adaptation and condensation, in which she was aided materially by Mr Charles Weidman.

3. Java:

(a) A Javanese Court Dancer . . . Ruth St. Denis

Music by Clifford Vaughan

(b) Impressions of Wayang Purwa (Shadow Puppet Drama) accompanied on the aklung and gongs . . . Mary Howry, Edward McLean, Anne Douglas

4. Burma: A Yein Pwe . . . Miss Doris Humphrey and ensemble

Music by Clifford Vaughan

(In Burma, the popular form of entertainment is a combination of native orchestra, dancers and clowns, who grace any festive occasion from a dinner party to a religious holiday at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda. They are tireless and inexhaustible with their dancing, singing, improvised dialogues and risque jokes with now and then a virtuoso performance on the part of some member of the native orchestra).

This dance scene was produced in the Orient by Miss St. Denis assisted by Miss Doris Humphrey, who created her own solo. The music was written by Clifford Vughan.

Intermission of Two Minutes Only

5. India:

(a) The Soul of India-an interpretation . . . Ruth St. Denis

(b) The Cosmic Dance of Siva . . . Ted Shawn

Siva is the active or creative principle of the Hindu Trinity and is often represented in bronze figures as "Natarajah," or Lord of the Dance. Hindu theology has it that in a dance of five main divisions, Siva (1) created the Universe, (2) preserves and sustains the Universe, (3) destroyed all the worlds, (4) reincarnated them through many lives of illusion and finally (5) draws all of us to become one with him in his perpetual dance. The music was written especially for Mr. Shawn by Lily Strickland Anderson, the American composer who has lived for the last six years in India.

(c) In the Bunnia Bazaar . . . Ruth St. Denis and ensemble

(Music arranged by Clifford Vaughan incorporating several compositions of Lily Strickland Anderson)

The costumes except in the cases where actual authentic costumes of the Orient are used, were executed by Miss Pearl Wheeler.

Knabe Piano Used.

[The photograph in the Fitzgerald Music Company, 727 Hill St., shows Ruth St. Denis Dancing to Her Knabe Ampico.

Ruth St. Denis Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers use the Knabe Pianoforte Exclusively

Ruth St. Denis has recorded her entire dance numbers on the Ampico. Hear them at Fitzgerald's. You may now receive dance instructions from the famous Denishawn School of Dancing and practise at home with the aid of the marvelous Ampico in the Knabe.]

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017