6 user 49 critic

La danseuse (2016)

Loïe Fuller was the toast of the Folies Bergères at the turn of the 20th century and an inspiration for Toulouse-Lautrec and the Lumière Brothers. The film revolves around her complicated relationship with protégé and rival Isadora Duncan.


(collaboration), (novel) | 6 more credits »
1 win & 14 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Marie-Louise Fuller - dite Loïe Fuller
... Le comte Louis d'Orsay
... Gabrielle Bloch
... Isadora Duncan
... Edouard Marchand - le directeur artistique des Folies-Bergère
... Armand Duponchel - le directeur de l'Opéra
... Lili - la mère de Loïe
... Ruben - le père de Loïe
... Jeff
... Kate
... Rud (as Will Houston)
... L'acteur qui joue dans Macbeth
... L'actrice qui joue dans Macbeth
Laurent Manzoni ... Le médecin
Matilda Kime ... L'assistante de Louis (as Mathilda Kime)


There was nothing in her background to prepare Loïe to become the toast of the Folies Bergères in Paris and stages across the world. Then she created the 'Serpentine Dance'... 1887. After the death of her gold prospector father, 25-year-old Marie-Louise leaves her life in the American West to join her mother in New York and pursue her heart's dream - becoming an actress. One night on stage, becoming tangled in her long dress, she avoids falling by spinning the fabric in a graceful, magical gesture: the "Serpentine Dance" is born. The audience - shocked, then overwhelmed - calls out for more. Marie-Louise has become Loïe Fuller. She embarks on a new, hectic life, leaving New York, where imitators try to steal her radical innovations, for Paris. At the Folies Bergères, she dazzles the capital, and illustrious admirers fall at her feet. Toulouse Lautrec, the Lumière Brothers, Rodin... the Electric Fairy becomes an icon, the blazing symbol of a generation. But fame isn't all. An encounter... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

1 December 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dancer  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


French visa # 142.843. See more »


Loie first performed at the Follies Bergere in the early 1890s, but the director of the Follies Bergere is driving an "olde tymey" car from perhaps 2 decades later when Loie ambushes him in his carpark in order to present an impromptu audition. See more »


The Four Seasons
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Max Richter
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User Reviews

Beautiful dancing and costumes, very disjointed story
18 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

The Good: the wonderful costumes, the stunning dance routines, and the performance of Soki in the lead role. Purely as a spectacle, there's plenty to enjoy.

The Bad: the storyline was completely disjointed. Certain scenes and interactions made no sense, suddenly following on from one another in a jarring way. There seemed to be gaps (scenes edited out for length?). It was hard to tell how much time was supposed to have elapsed. The way Soki meets Gabrielle in a car park, and then next scene she's suddenly got some huge show happening: it was bewildering.

Let's not even get started on the confusing relationships. I'm not sure what I was supposed to be watching there, or who was already supposed to have slept with whom.

Ultimately this would have been a better film if they had cut down on the endless scenes of Soki's pain and exercise and bleeding eyes and ice baths, and added a bit more storytelling. Much of the US/ New York stuff could have been cut/tightened (particularly since it wasn't biographically accurate, and served minimal apparent purpose. Save for Ulliel, the NY cast didn't reappear once we moved to Paris).

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