Maud Allan

Maud Allan (Ulla Maude Durrant), pioneer of modern dance (born at Toronto 27 Aug 1873; died at Los Angeles 7 Oct 1956). Born in Toronto, educated in San Francisco, she studied piano in Berlin and attained professional stardom in England. Embarking upon global tours, Allan was a citizen of the world. She made her professional début as a dancer in 1903 in Vienna performing in a style described as western early modern theatre dance.

Although she is best remembered for her provocative The Vision of Salomé dance, she choreographed over 50 dances and was greatly influenced by her musical mentor, Ferruccio Busoni, as well as by early German expressionism.

It was her misfortune to attract unwanted notoriety through such events as the murder trial of her brother, William Theodore Durrant, in San Francisco in 1895 and a libel trial in London, England, in 1918 in which Allan sued a member of parliament. Allan's endorsement of German expressionism in her artistic life, while at the same time clinging to conventionalities in her personal life and outward appearance, adds to the confusion of her place in the history of early modern dance. She wrote her autobiography, My Life and Dancing, in 1908.