Incense (1906)

Incense was choreographed by Ruth St. Denis in 1906 and was inspired by the movements of a traditional woman in Indian culture.  Traditionally, this work would open St. Denis’ concerts as a means to follow the classical Indian tradition of beginning a program with an invocation, offering, or honoring to the spiritual world.  The soloist enters holding a tray of burning incense and begins sprinkling them onto the burning embers in the space.  Her movement reflects the rising smoke.  The subtle dance expresses the visionary, mystical beliefs of Ruth St. Denis accompanied by the music of Harvey Worthington Loomis.  

Photo Credit: ASC Dance