Rhythm & Colour examines, for the first time, the life, work and loves of the avant-garde dancers, Hélène Vanel (1898–1989), Loïs Hutton (1893–1972), and Margaret Morris (1891–1980), through newly discovered letters, photographs, journals, memoirs, and contemporary criticism.
This beautiful and extensive book considers the place of dance in post-WWI Modernism from Morris’ involvement with Futurism and Vorticism to Vanel’s dances at the opening of the 1938 International Surrealist Exhibition in Paris which are now heralded as the beginning of Performance Art.
Hutton’s affair with American poet Edna St Vincent Millay, Morris’ relationship with J.D. Fergusson, and the pursuit of Vanel by Scottish Colourist painter, Leslie Hunter raise issues of gender and sexuality.
Their theatres in Chelsea, Paris and the French Riviera attracted, among many others Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and James Joyce (whose daughter Lucia was among their pupils). The dancers worked with Jean Renoir, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí.
The book’s author, Richard Emerson is an Art Historian. Formerly the Deputy Conway Librarian at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings at Historic Scotland.