Ruth St. Denis [Bio
Ruth St. Denis was a major pioneer of modern dance, who was influenced by
Egyptian, Indian/Hindu and Japanese dancing styles. Early "American
audiences were hostile to her experiments, labeling her the 'Jersey Hindoo'
and comparing her with the belly dancers at the local burlesque houses."
However, when she toured Europe in from 1906-09, her dances became a great
success worldwide. She was also influenced by Eastern mysticism and even
started her own Church of the Divine Dance in Hollywood in 1947.
If you click the links below, you can see some sets of her exotic dances.
There are over 600 images of Ruth St. Denis in the NYPL Digital Library.
I think her life story would make for a very interesting movie or
here's an interesting and mildly revealing photo of Ruth dancing on the
beach without her dark hair wig, and also
a color tinted print from 1915.