top of page
Before there was Isadora Duncan, there was Loïe Fuller. 
About the Film

Obsessed with Light pulls back the curtain on Loïe Fuller, a wildly original performer who revolutionized the visual culture of the early 20th century and today exerts an astonishing influence on contemporary culture, inspiring artists and performers like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Taylor Swift, Bill T. Jones, Shakira and William Kentridge, among others.


 The American creator of modern dance, Fuller created a completely new kind of spectacle which combined dance, fabric and movement. She also pioneered the ingenious use of electricity for the stage, even building a glass floor so that she could be lit from below. Fuller propelled herself into swirling abstractions that made audiences gasp. Her patented lighting designs are forerunners of today’s most extravagant multi-media productions and anyone who has been to a rock concert has seen a modern version of her work. 


Loïe Fuller (1862-1928) shot to international stardom after performing at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Her rise to fame was intertwined with the very beginning of cinema and her Serpentine dance became an iconic subject of the earliest filmmakers like Georges Méliès and Alice Guy Blaché. She launched Isadora Duncan’s career, promoted Auguste Rodin’s sculpture in the U.S. and consulted with Marie Curie and Thomas Edison to make her costumes glow. Her work influenced the most important artists, performers and thinkers of her day, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso.


Obsessed with Light is a film about transformation. It's about a Midwestern vaudeville performer who performed with Buffalo Bill before becaming a world-famous star of Belle Époque Paris with her elaborate productions of ephemeral, shape-shifting abstractions. It's about a woman, described by contemporaries as "odd and badly dressed," who transformed herself into the "Fairy of Light" onstage. It's about a woman who became famous on her own terms– unapologetic about her body type and open about her sexuality. And it's about a visionary artist who disrupted the prevailing notions of dance and the imagined limits of the human body. Lastly, our film is about creativity and obsession and a lost modernist whose story is crucial to understanding both early cinema and performance.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
bottom of page