Photo by Man Ray (1928)
Rosemonde Cowan [Rosa Rolanda] was born on September 6, 1895 in the Los Angeles area (Azusa), California. Her father, Henry Charles Cowan, was an engineer and her mother, Guadalupe Ruelas, was a descendant of Mexican parents. She had a younger sister Mae. Rolanda excelled in dance and in 1916, a year after high school graduation, she was chosen as one of six students out of 300 to go to New York and perform as the Morgan Dancers. She acted on Broadway, performed at the Globe Theatre as part of the “The Rose Girl” show, joined the cast of the Music Box Revue, and went on to tour with the Ziegfeld Follies in Europe. Rolando was a contemporary of Isadora Duncan.