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MAUD ALLAN - BIOGRAPHY

Maud Allan was an early-twentieth-century dancer and choreographer who performed what she called "musically impressionistic mood settings". Born in Toronto and raised in San Francisco, Allan was studying piano in Germany when she abandoned the instrument to develop her very personal way of moving – a form of art that she did not directly associate with dance. This abrupt change in her artistic pursuits immediately followed the hanging of her brother Theo Durrant for the murder of two young women. Allan never recovered from the trauma of this event and it affected her psychologically for the rest of her life. She made her dance debut in Vienna in 1903 dancing interpretations of Mendelssohn's Spring Song, Chopin's Funeral March and Rubinstein's Valse Caprice. She became a sensation with the performance of her controversial Vision of Salome (1906), which triggered a series of imitators and the "Salomania" phenomenon. Although she danced briefly with Loie Fuller's company in France, she primarily performed as a soloist and enjoyed tremendous success in London after her debut at the Palace Theatre in 1908. Subsequent tours included Russia, the United States, Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto), South Africa, India, the Far East and Australasia, Chile, Peru and Argentina. She gave her last performance in 1936 in Los Angeles. She eventually settled in the Los Angeles during World War II and worked as a draughtswoman at Macdonald Aircraft. Allan died in Los Angeles in 1956 penniless and forgotten. While she did operate her own dance school briefly in London in the 1940s, she did not mentor any dancers who could continue to perform her very personal choreographic aesthetic and thus her dance works are lost.

CONTENTS

  • costumes and clothing, shoes, journals, correspondence, photographs, postcards, books, house programmes, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, documents from Felix Cherniavsky's extensive research
Notable:
  • two original costumes with head piece for The Vision of Salome
  • original souvenir edition of My Life and Dancing by Maud Allan
  • Edwardian shawls and shoes
  • personal journals, 1895-1897
  • postcard collection
  • Salome Memorabilia to include a bisque nodder, cigarettes, corn plasters
  • Maud Allan felt pennant

 

Photos: Maud Allan

CROSS REFERENCES

Books:

WORKS:

  • Spring Song (1903), Felix Mendelssohn
  • Adagio (1903), Ludwig von Beethoven
  • Gavotte (1903), Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Musette (1903), Bach
  • Reverie (1903), Robert Schumann
  • Funeral March (1903), Fréderic Chopin
  • Waltz in A Minor (1903), Chopin
  • Mazurka in G Sharp Minor (1903), Chopin
  • Mazurka in F Sharp Minor (1903), Chopin
  • Ave Maria (1903), Franz Schubert
  • Valse Caprice(1903), Anton Rubinstein
  • The Vision of Salomé (1906), Marcel Remy
  • Waltz in A Flat (1908), Johannes Brahms
  • Peer Gynt Suite (1909), Edvard Grieg
  • Passpied (1909), Léo Delibes
  • Dryad (1911), Jean Sibelius
  • The Birds (1911), Grieg
  • Poetic Tone Poem (1911), Grieg
  • Waltz of the Flowers (1911), Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
  • Arabian Dance (1911), Tchaikovsky
  • Reed Pipe Dance (1911), Tchaikovsky
  • Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (1911), Tchaikovsky
  • Danse sacrée et profane (1911), Claude Debussy
  • Am Meer (1913), Schubert
  • Moment Musical (1913), Schubert
  • Romance (1913), Rubinstein
  • Nair the Slave (1916), Pietro Belpassi
  • La Marseillaise (1917, Rouget de Lisle
  • Valse Triste (1917), Sibelius
  • Blue Danube Waltz (1917), Schubert
  • Grand Valse (1923), Alexander Glazounov
  • Egyptian Ballet Suite (1923), Luigini
  • Prelude in C Sharp Minor (c. 1923), Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • Bacarolle from Tales of Hoffman (c. 1923), Jacques Offenbach
  • Fête Bohème (1923), Jules Massenet
  • Mystery of the Desert (1925), Reginald Poole
  • Oriental Fantasy (1925), Joseph Achron
  • Pathéthique (1926), Tchaikovsky
  • Prelude in C Minor (1936), Chopin
  • Nocturne in E (1936), Chopin
  • Scherzo from the Funeral Sonata (1936), Chopin
  • Suite in G Minor (1936), George Frideric Handel

Maud Allan

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