Serpentine dance is one of the earliest artistic forms in film history.
It was devised by Loïe Fuller in the 1890s and involved a performer wearing a light, voluminous costume with two sticks attached. The dancer would swish and twirl their costume using the sticks, creating a fluid and graceful swirl of fabric.
Films featuring serpentine dances were painted frame by frame with a brush by women colorists. Therefore, very few colored prints of any given film existed. Even fewer have come down to us: in its early days, cinema was considered only a form of popular entertainment, and many early films were simply thrown away after they had gone out of fashion.
Serpentine is a tribute to the early cinema and its path to discovery of the artistic value of motion.