Loie Fuller was the ultimate “it girl.” A little-known dancer from Illinois, she wound up in turn-of-the-century Paris, smack-dab in the middle of La Belle Epoque. Her friends? They were artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and filmmakers the Lumiere Brothers, and her protegee was acclaimed dancer Isadora Duncan.

Fuller herself was a pioneer in modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques, but it has taken Stephanie Di Giusto’s film “The Dancer” (“La Danseuse” in French) to rescue her name and legend from obscurity, mainly because so little of her work survived the ages. Unlike Duncan, Fuller avoided filming herself since she believed dance was too fleeting and delicate an art form to capture on celluloid.

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