The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, August 03, 1919, Magazine Section, Page 2, Image 88

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Sir i iiii;
"Interpretative" Exer- -, 'p-:' "I " ' f-' " '!.' ::"' --Cv -'-,;'v' vl '
cise a Great Educator ' ' "!; 11 il A ' - - ;
and Health Stimulant, I Ifj ! fv ! C 4
Says Mrs. F.T.Towne, l f ,v,M ' . , 'y ' -: . ' . .- ;'
Wealthy Protnoter of I- . ; -j 11 .; . . . . v ,-- . .
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'tj M ECSTATIC MOMEW IH A SWIRUSS ' ' Z " ' f ' ) l X ' - V" ) I " 3
s P '1 j wood dance. . ' i, I. - i T .V 1 A . ) O
DANCING seems destined to play a
conspicuous part in our every
day affairs. Instead of an idle.
ern frivolous pastime, the dance is
btng- urg-ed for its serious educational
alua. Many of its friends see in dancing-
a solution of many social and in
dustrial problems. After the horrors
f war we may dance our way back to
normal conditions of mind and body.
In the third year of the war a system
atic effort was made in England to
rlive the tension, especially among:
soldiers, and a number of dancing in
structors were brought from France
for the purpose. Classes comprising
some 15.000 were Instructed with gratifying-
An Interesting- experiment is being
cao-rled on near New Tork to interest
large numbers of young girls, including
many of those engaged in hard worlc.
In tha classic dances. The patroness
f this movement, Mrs. F. T. Towne of
Stamford. Conn., a woman of wealth, of
social position, has already carried the.
work far beyond' the experimental
stage. Many of the girls are drawn
from great industrial plants. In the
winter months halls are found for the
dancers, while in the summer the beau
tiful lawns of the Towne estate over
looking Long island are often used for
the parpose. An ancient Greek would
doubtless feel very much at home in
watching these graceful groups of
dancers and the class'e lines of their
delicate Grecian draperies. '
. Mrs. Towne has planned the move
ment alon- practical lines. I am try
lng to give these girls an equal oppor
tunity with their more fortunate sis
ters," she explained the other day.
"What else could I do for them which
Would more Quickly develop both the
mind and body and awaken in them
the. Joy of life? To explain, my motive
J- CAt
- ji n
let me tell you the experience which
first suggested the work.
"I chanced to pass a fashionable dan
cing school one stormy winter's day
when a beautifully appointed limousine
with liveried chauffeur and footman
drove up. A maid alighted and after
her a little girl, very much overdressed,
who was protesting violently. The
maid was pleading with her that she
wore the most expensive dress in town
and the dancing class was therefore
sure to prove a delight.
"Further down the street I chanced
upon a group of working girls gazing
rapturously in a window at some dan
cing frocks. I listened to them and
each of the girls was telling of her
longing to wear such gowns and to
dance. I made up my mind that these
working girls, with their limited op
portunities, should have a chance to
dance if I could bring it to them. There
was much opposition, but a class of
about a hundred was finally formed,
meeting in a hall. The best Instructors
obtainable have been secured to teach
them. It is in no sense a charity. The
girls pay a nominal fee for each lesson.
'There is a very general misappre
hension as to dancing. m It has been
happily described by Jaqnes Dalcrose
as rhythmic gymnastics. It Is not
merely a refinement of dancing such -as
we see in society, but is far broader
In its influence, a principle affecting
every part of life.
"The question is always before edu
cators and physicians, "What is the best
kind of exercise to recommend to the
great unexercised class? To walk, to
swim, to play outdoor games, to hunt,
all are good in their way, but they
do not exercise the body equally and
steady and train the nerves. Rhythmic,
systemic exercise, going over the
muscles each day, so all may do their
part, with fresh air and pure water
and peaceful sleep, gives the person
-J - i -
not only the needed physical exercise,
but develops poise and personality as
well, which result Is not obtained from
ordinary exercise.
"I want to emphasise a most Im
portant element of exercise, namely.
the slow movements which develop
balance and lead to absolutely still po
sitions, which are to be held for from
5 to IS minutes with the body In re
laxed oondtion. To acquire rhythm In
exercise is to gain bodily beauty and
strengthen the mind- The circle la
completed when the mind and body are
brought into a complete co ordination
bo that they work together, the muscles
giving instantaneous obedience to the
brain. Upon this basis of rhythm and
co-ordination of mind and body axe
constructed all the arts.
"Plato says that the whole life of
man is governed by rhythm. It Is
rhythm that has given to the world the
Joys of art and the harmony of friend
ship. Unsteady time in muslo. a stag
gering and twisting gait in walking,
inability to draw a straight line. Inde
cision as to color, difficultly in reading
sufficiently fax ahead of the word be
ing pronounced to give accent to the
sentence, a colorless, unsupported voice
in singing, all show the untrained co
ordination. "Rhythm creates a rapid and regular
current of communication between
brain and body. All plastic work helps
to overcome intellectual stagnation.
Rhythmic exercise, baaed upon a re
sponse to music is the foundation of all
interpretive dancing, in which the sub
conscious mind finds expression and
produces original composition which
will stand as real art.
"The dancer must possess good health,
a developed mind, a sure sense of
rhythm and a perfect co-ordination be
tween brain and body; then we do not
need lights and draplngs, rouge or pow
der or expensive staging. These latter
only hinder art and cover incomplete
ness, but without the former we have
not seen or known the art of the dancer.
"Personality and poise are probably
more desired by the world at large than
any other qualities, and these envied
possessions are attained by those per
sons who do not possess them naturally
In one way only, and that is by hard
work and constant watchfulness, by
concentration of the forces and facul
ties. The perfecting of the cells df
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which the body is composed goes far,
however, toward the attainment of the
desired result, and the more perfect the
cellular structure of the physical or
ganism the easier becomes the task of
developing the mental faculties."
Thus Mrs. Towne expresses an enthu
siasm that is illustrated in happy
groups. The enthusiasm is typical of
that to be found In many centers of tui
tion In Interpretive dancing throughout
the country from Connecticut to Call
Contlntted From First Pas.)
it may also be remembered that there
was no necessity for "making transla
tions" of "Parsifal," for there was no
finer version of It ever given than the
one toured through this country by
Henry W. Savage, with Walter Henry
Rothwell as conductor. It was upon
this occasion that Mr. Rothwell estab
lished a reputation far and- wide as a
conductor of the first rank and when
Mr. Savage decided to put a company
on the road to sing Puccini's "Madame
Butterfly." Rothwell was Puccini's
Lessees of the Lexington theater
disclose that they have rented the
house from October 20 up to the date
when Campanini and his Chicago op
eratic organisation will take posses
sion to Oeorge Blumentbal. who will
present the Star opera company, with
Otto Goritx as stage director. German
operetta and probably grand opera
will be given by a number of artists
formerly of the Metropolitan opera
company. The chorus also will consist
of singers formerly with that organi
sation. The caase of America will be the note
upon which the musical season 1919-20
will be ushered in. As usual the Wor
cester festival will be In the Held early,
although before this time-honored in
stitution will have given its annual
festival, the Americans artists and
composers, will have had something of
a fling at Lockport, SJ. T., which seems
to be taken more seriously this year
than usual. The programme for Wor
cester will be carried out exactly as it
was planned for last season, when the
festival had to be called off on account
of the influenza. The only change in
personnel will be that Edgar Schofield
will sing Instead of the lamented Hart
ridge Whipp, who was one of the vic
tims of the dread disease. Strangely
enough. Mr. Schofield was originally
cast for the part which he will sing,
and when he went into military ser
vice the part was given to Hartridge
Whlpp. Dr. Arthur Mees will as usual
conduct the programmes, which he has
been preparing now for two seasons.
Arnold Volpe has devoted himself
with considerable enthusiasm to the
American cause aid he has made it
possible not only to hear some fine
works by American composers, but he
has invited them to conduct their own
Compositions. It gave the publio a
chance to see that Samuel Gardner
has the true conductor's talent and to
hear Henry Hadley, the noted Amer
ican composer and conductor. In hts
own works. Mr. Hadley again will be
guest conductor this week, when the
programme will include orchestral ex
cerpts from operas and some of hta
compositions, including his waltz,
which will be sung by Inez Barbour, In
which she had very great success last
week at the Stadium concert Wednes
day night
Mr. Volpe win introduce Dirk Fot-b.
on Wednesday night, which will mark
the Holland conductor's first appear
ance in America. The soloist upon thra
occasion will be Madame Alma Cly
bargh in operatic arias and Tschailo
owsky songs.
Mr. Volpe will give Tsohalkowskys
fifth symphony on Thursday evening,
with Delia Baker, soprano, as soloist.
She is announced to sing the mad scene
from "Lucia." On Friday night Miria
Kryl. the Chicago pianist, will be
heard, as will Betsy Lane Shepherd, the
soprano. Max Rosen will play on Sat
urday night, when he will have as co
star Greta Masson, soprano. Sunday
night will be of exceptional interest,
insofar as Helen Stanley will appear.
Edgar Schofield, who has Just returned
from military service, also will sing
upon this occasion.
Another series of summer concerts
opened Thursday night at Asbury
Park, arranged by the board of com
missioners, with Mayor Hetrick chair
man. The fiast concert was given by
Anna Fitziu, with a chorus from the
Metropolitan opera-house under direc
tion of William Tyroler. Next Thurs
day night Helen Stanley and Rafaelo
Diaz will appear jointly and later In
the season the list will include Mar
garet Matzenauer, Marie Sundelius.
Anna Case, Marie Rappold, May Peter
son, Arthur Middleton, Jeanne Gordon
and others. This has no connection
with the series now taking place at
Ocean Grove, where Madame Matzen
auer sang Saturday and where John
McCormack will be heard August 9.
Mischa Elman is also announced in
this course, in consequence of which it
may be understood that there is no
dearth of real music, even with the
thermometer above 90 and "going up."
Incidentally be it said that Jupiter
Pluvius is "coming down," so things
are evenly divided. '