This historic dance documentary tells the story of one of the least publicized, yet most-influential modern dance companies in America. Founded by Ruth St. Denis and her husband Ted Shawn at the turn of the century, Denishawn has become legendary for its unique approach to contemporary dance. Martha Graham, Jack Cole, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and countless others have built their companies and their work on the foundation established by St. Denis and Shawn. Incorporating elements of Far and Middle Eastern dances to create abstract pieces they called "musical visualizations," the couple rejected the tradition of basing dances on fairy tales: their dancers played human beings, not sugarplums or swans. Husband-and-wife actors Paul and June Reed portray the Shawns in "interview" segments, and rare film footage of the real St. Denis and Shawn show them at the peak of their creative talents. The current Denishawn Company re-stages some of the founders' original choreography, which remains as vital and modern today as it was then. 40 mins. (2006) DVD-All-Region.
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