Moulin rouge dancers
Ruth St. Denis (January 20, 1879 – July 21, 1968) was a modern dance pioneer, introducing eastern ideas into the art. Denis' dance career began with acrobatics, high kicking, ballet and acting. Later she moved to modern dance. Her early works are indicative of her interests in exotic mysticism and spirituality. She believed dance to be a spiritual expression. In 1938 St. Denis founded Adelphi University's dance program, one of the first dance departments in an American university.