“Not a Girl Dancing”:
Gender, Spectacle and Disembodiment in
the work of Loïe Fuller and Freya Olafson

In this article, I draw links between two intermedia dance works, Loïe Fuller’s Serpentine Dance (1892-1908) and Freya Olafson’s HYPER_ (2013). Dancing more than a century apart, both Fuller and Olafson use their bodies as screens for various mediated effects, actively obscuring their corporeal female forms. In analyzing Fuller and Olafson’s work visually, in relation to an aesthetics of disembodiment and transformation, and formally, in terms of the way they make inanimate materials dance with the invisible labour of their own bodies, I seek to trace a historical continuum that understands gendered embodiment as crucial to a feminist-posthuman analysis of intermedia dance performances.