Japanesque Shows for Western Markets: Loïe Fuller and Early Japanese Tours Through Europe (1900-08)


  • Stanca Scholz-Cionca




The hype of Japanese theatre in Europe during the first decade of the twentieth century has received much scholarly attention focused on the global stars it produced: Sada Yakko, and Hanako. This article, starting from the assumption of a strong western angency in circulating Japanese products during the heyday of japonisme, highlights the decisive contribution of their western impresaria, Loïe Fuller, to the success of the Japanese tours. In a period marked by a strong professionalisation of theatre brokers, Fuller - a cross-over artist and cultural mediator sui generis - is an eccentric apparition, a belated example of artist-impresaria, who cumulated sundry functions in the process and reshaped the Japanese shows, by multiple acts of translation and mediation, into a global theatre brand.