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.
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Dance Collection Danse would like to acknowledge that the land on which we work is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. It has been a site of human activity, including dance, for at least 15,000 years and we are grateful to all the caretakers, both recorded and unrecorded, of this land and of Turtle Island. Today, the meeting place of Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and dance in the community, on this territory.