Isadora Duncan
American dancer and choreographer
Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan was a dancer, considered by many to be the creator of modern dance. Born in the United States, she lived in Western Europe and the Soviet Union from the age of 22 until her death at age 50. In the United States she was popular only in New York, and only later in her life. She performed to acclaim throughout Europe.
Biography
Isadora Duncan's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Isadora Duncan
News
News abour Isadora Duncan from around the web
Indie group Reader's Wives for free show in the Róisín Dubh - Galway Bay FM
Google News - over 5 years
Rachel's Apartment is a rocking album, but halfway through the listener is caught off-guard by a slower number called Isadora Duncan. How did Niall come to hear about Duncan, a pivotal figure in modern dance who died in a freak car accident in France
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Hillsborough Heavies Celebrate Concours d'Elegance at Crystal Springs Golf Course - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
For those who need to be hipped, Bugattis are the little French-made bugs that conjure images of Cary Grant tooling down windy roads on the Riviera, or of Jay Gatsby vamping it up in the fictional "West Egg." Actually, it was Isadora Duncan who lost
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A CHARITY CASE Comes To The Clurman Theater, Opens 11/2 - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
Her most notable works include Without Limits-Isadora Duncan, Anais Nin-One of Her Lives, Claudel, Losing My Religion, Love Therapy and Refugees. Her directorial credits include works by Shakespeare, The Cherry Orchard, Waiting For Godot and The Women
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ED2011 Theatre Review: Teddy And Topsy – Isadora Duncan's Love Letters To ... - ThreeWeeks News
Google News - over 5 years
Isadora Duncan's often tragic life is laid bare in this one-woman character study. Duncan's letters to the man she had to leave at home while she toured Europe are narrated by actor and dancer Nellie McQuinn. Duncan's letters show her to be an engaging
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Classic Car Owners Show Off Hood Ornaments - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Isadora Duncan, the alleged inspiration for the design of this ornament, met an untimely death when her trademark scarf, while still draped around her neck, became entangled around one of the vehicle's open-spoked wheels and rear axle, breaking her
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Mohegan Colony Hosts Storytelling and Music Festival (Video) - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
In the spirit of Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson and Isadora Duncan, Amy Belfer, a 14-year-old resident of Mohegan Colony in Cortlandt, captured an audience with her cultivated skill of storytelling this Saturday. Belfer was performing at the 11th annual
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Teddy and Topsy - The Skinny
Google News - over 5 years
Although her position in the dance pantheon is problematic, Isadora Duncan remains an inspiration. Robert Shaw discovered that Duncan had an romance with Edward Gordon Craig, the revolutionary set designer, and used their letters as the basis of Teddy
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The Chelsea Hotel Reaches the End of an Era With New Ownership - BlackBook Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
I was told that Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey there and John Wayne, John Garfield, Isadora Duncan, and a couple dozen more like that enjoyed its charms. Someone famous even died on the steps and supposedly still roams around
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Vive la Similarité - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
John Singleton Copley, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Richard Wright, Louis Gottschalk and Louis Armstrong, Cole Porter, Isadora Duncan
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Episode Seven: Frankensofas, No-Tell Motels, and Purple Lemonade - Curbed National (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
She dresses interpretively for the occasion as a desert sunset (↓) in an outfit Martyn describes as “Isadora Duncan went to Palm Springs.” Kathryn parks it at the pool's bar and asks the bartender what they make best. Because it's still morning,
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When Dance Takes Over the Modern - D Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
The dance was filled with sharp punctuating full-body movements, angular cartwheeling arms and legs, and intricate weight-sharing coupled with Isadora Duncan-inspired attention to breath and the power of the solar plexus. The movement was constant,
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Movies and Memory - TheTyee.ca
Google News - over 5 years
Isadora, about the life and times of Isadora Duncan, scarred me quite unlike any other. The film starred Vanessa Redgrave, who picked up multiple awards for her portrayal of the infamous dancer. I recall it so clearly, from the Vaseline soft-focus
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Famed dancers donate to National Museum of Dance - The Saratogian
Google News - over 5 years
Alvin Ailey Dance Company, José Limon Institute, Isadora Duncan Dance Company, Charles Weidman Dance Foundation, Edward Villella and Catherine Littlefield, honored in the National Museum of Dance Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame,
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Celebrating the Legacy of Merce Cunningham in New Hampshire - New Hampshire Public Radio
Google News - over 5 years
This giant figure in modern American dance is not a household name like Isadora Duncan or Michael Barishnakov but Merce Cunningham's impact and legacy is just as profound. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 90 and the legacy tour celebrating his
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Fancy Footwork: Spirit of Isadora Duncan on a Downtown Stage - Tribeca Trib
Google News - over 5 years
In the three decades since she began teaching, Thomas has remained faithful to her muse, Isadora Duncan. The afternoon's graceful moves were an ode to Duncan, considered the mother of modern dance. The performers skipped and ran and leapt across the
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A Former New Yorker Editor Collects Some Of His Prime Pieces - Forward
Google News - over 5 years
The pieces, whose subjects include Bruno Bettelheim and Isadora Duncan, Harry Houdini and Katharine Hepburn, originally appeared in esteemed journals like The New York Review of Books. Ten years hence, will there be such men?
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Ben Becker: Unlike Tiger, McIlroy no global icon - TCPalm
Google News - over 5 years
I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, Isadora Duncan and Lebronukkah" Susan Sarandon's monologue as Annie Savoy in the movie "Bull Durham" resonates because of the religious movement afoot in sports to anoint "The Next
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Sharing the World of Isadora Duncan - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Lois Ann Flood, founder of Danville's Diablo Dance Theater, danced in Kensington last week, sharing the artistry of Isadora Duncan. By Charles Burress | Email the author | 4:00am Lois Ann Flood of Danville performed Isadora Duncan dances at the
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Isadora Duncan
    FIFTIES
  • 1927
    Age 49
    Died on September 14, 1927.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1927
    Age 49
    In his book Isadora, an Intimate Portrait, Sewell Stokes, who met Duncan in the last years of her life, describes her extravagant waywardness. Duncan's autobiography My Life was published in 1927.
    More Details Hide Details Composer Percy Grainger called Isadora's autobiography a "life-enriching masterpiece." While "The Mother of Dance's" schools in Europe did not last long, Isadora Duncan's work had impact in the art and her style is still danced based upon the instruction of Maria-Theresa Duncan, Anna Duncan, and Irma Duncan, three of her six adopted daughters. Through her sister, Elizabeth, Duncan's approach was adopted by Jarmila Jeřábková from Prague where her legacy persists. By 1913 she was already being celebrated. When the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées was built, Duncan's likeness was carved in its bas-relief over the entrance by sculptor Antoine Bourdelle and included in painted murals of the nine muses by Maurice Denis in the auditorium. In 1987, she was inducted into the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame. Anna, Lisa, Theresa and Irma, pupils of Isadora Duncan's first school, carried on the aesthetic and pedagogical principles of Isadora's work in New York and Paris. Choreographer and dancer Julia Levien was also instrumental in furthering Duncan's work through the formation of the Duncan Dance Guild in the 1950s and the establishment of the Duncan Centenary Company in 1977.
  • 1923
    Age 45
    However, the marriage was brief, and in May 1923 he left Duncan and returned to Moscow. Two years later, on 28 December 1925 Yesenin was found dead in his room in the Hotel Angleterre in St Petersburg in an apparent suicide.
    More Details Hide Details Duncan had a relationship with poet and playwright Mercedes de Acosta which is documented in numerous revealing letters they wrote to each other. In one she wrote, "Mercedes, lead me with your little strong hands and I will follow you – to the top of a mountain. To the end of the world. Wherever you wish." By the end of her life Duncan's performing career had dwindled and she became as notorious for her financial woes, scandalous love life and all-too-frequent public drunkenness as for her contributions to the arts. She spent her final years moving between Paris and the Mediterranean, running up debts at hotels. She spent short periods in apartments rented on her behalf by a decreasing number of friends and supporters, many of whom attempted to assist her in writing an autobiography. They hoped it might be successful enough to support her. In a reminiscent sketch, Zelda Fitzgerald wrote how she and F. Scott Fitzgerald, her husband, sat in a Paris cafe watching a somewhat drunk Duncan. He would speak of how memorable it was, but what Zelda recalled was that while all eyes were watching Duncan, Zelda was able to steal the salt and pepper shakers from the table.
  • 1922
    Age 44
    On 2 May 1922 they married and Yesenin accompanied her on a tour of Europe and the United States.
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  • 1921
    Age 43
    In 1921, after the close of the Russian Revolution, Duncan moved to Moscow where she met the acclaimed poet Sergei Esenin, who was 18 years her junior.
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    In 1921, her leftist sympathies took her to the Soviet Union where she founded a school in Moscow.
    More Details Hide Details However, the Soviet government's failure to follow through on promises to support her work caused her to move West and leave the school to Irma. Breaking with convention, Duncan imagined she had traced the art of dance back to its roots as a sacred art. She developed within this notion free and natural movements inspired by the classical Greek arts, folk dances, social dances, nature and natural forces as well as an approach to the new American athleticism which included skipping, running, jumping, leaping and tossing. Duncan's philosophy of dance moved away from rigid ballet technique and towards what she perceived as natural movement. To restore dance to a high art form instead of entertainment, she sought the connection between emotions and movement: "I spent long days and nights in the studio seeking that dance which might be the divine expression of the human spirit through the medium of the body's movement." She believed dance was meant to encircle all that life had to offer, joy and sadness. Duncan took inspiration from ancient Greece and combined it with an American love of freedom. Her movement was feminine and came from within the deepest feelings of her body. This is exemplified in her revolutionary costume of a white Greek tunic and bare feet. Inspired by Greek forms, her tunics also allowed a freedom of movement corseted ballet costumes and pointe shoes did not. Costumes were not the only inspiration Duncan took from Greece.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1915
    Age 37
    Duncan had been due to leave the US in 1915 on board the RMS Lusitania on the voyage on which it sank, but historians believe her financial situation at the time drove her to choose a more modest crossing.
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  • 1914
    Age 36
    In 1914, Duncan moved to the United States and transferred the school there.
    More Details Hide Details A townhouse on Gramercy Park was provided for its use, and its studio was nearby, on the northeast corner of 23rd Street and Fourth Avenue, which is now Park Avenue South. Otto Kahn, the head of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. gave Duncan use of the very modern Century Theatre at West 60th Street and Central Park West for her performances and productions, which included a staging of Oedipus Rex, which involved almost all of Duncan's extended entourage and friends. During her time in New York Duncan posed for a number of studies by the photographer Arnold Genthe.
  • 1910
    Age 32
    In 1910, Duncan met the occultist Aleister Crowley at a party (an episode recounted by Crowley in his Confessions abridged ed, p. 676) where he refers to Duncan under the name 'Lavinia King'; he would use the same invented name for her in his novel Moonchild.
    More Details Hide Details Crowley wrote of Duncan: "Isadora Duncan has this gift of gesture in a very high degree. Let the reader study her dancing, if possible in private than in public, and learn the superb 'unconsciousness'- which is magical consciousness - with which she suits the action to the melody." Crowley was in fact more attracted to Duncan's bohemian companion Mary Dempsey/Mary D'Este or Desti (with whom Crowley had an affair). Desti had come to Paris in 1901 where she soon met Duncan; the two became inseparable friends. Desti also appeared in Moonchild, as 'Lisa la Giuffria'. She joined Crowley's occult order, helping him to write his magnum opus Magick: Book 4 under her magical name of 'Soror Virakam'; she also co-edited four numbers of Crowley's journal The Equinox and contributed several collaborative plays to the journal. Mary Desti wrote a memoir of her experiences with Duncan that includes some autobiographical material - The Untold Story: The Life of Isadora Duncan 1921-1927 (1929).
  • TWENTIES
  • 1902
    Age 24
    In 1902, Loie Fuller invited Duncan to tour with her.
    More Details Hide Details This took Duncan all over Europe as she created new works using her innovative technique, which emphasized natural movement over the rigid technique of ballet. She spent most of the rest of her life touring Europe and the Americas in this fashion. Despite the critics' mixed reactions, she became quite popular for her distinct style and inspired many visual artists, such as Antoine Bourdelle, Auguste Rodin, Arnold Ronnebeck, and Abraham Walkowitz, to create works based on her. Duncan disliked the commercial aspects of public performance like touring and contracts because she felt they distracted her from her real mission: the creation of beauty and the education of the young. To achieve her mission, she opened schools to teach young women her dance philosophy. The first was established in 1904 in Grunewald, Germany. This institution was the birthplace of the "Isadorables" – Anna, Maria-Theresa, Irma, Liesel, Gretel, and Erika. – Duncan's protégées, who would go on to continue her legacy. Duncan legally adopted all six Isadorables in 1919, and they took the Duncan last name. Later, Duncan established a school in Paris that was shortly closed due to the outbreak of World War I.
  • 1900
    Age 22
    From London she traveled to Paris, where she drew inspiration from the Louvre and the Exposition Universelle of 1900.
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  • 1898
    Age 20
    Feeling unhappy and unappreciated in America, Duncan moved to London in 1898.
    More Details Hide Details There she performed in the drawing rooms of the wealthy, drawing inspiration from the Greek vases and bas-reliefs in the British Museum. The earnings from these engagements allowed her to rent a studio where developed her work and created larger performances for the stage.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1896
    Age 18
    In 1896 Duncan became part of Augustin Daly's theater company in New York, but she soon became disillusioned with the form.
    More Details Hide Details Her father, along with his third wife and their daughter, died in 1898 when the British passenger steamer SS Mohegan hit some rocks off the coast of Cornwall. Duncan began her dancing career at a very early age by giving lessons in her home to other neighborhood children, and this continued through her teenage years. Her novel approach to dance is evident in these early classes, in which she "followed her fantasy and improvised, teaching any pretty thing that came into her head". A desire to travel brought her to Chicago where she auditioned for many theater companies, finally finding a place in Augustin Daly's company. This took her to New York City where her unique vision of dance clashed with the popular pantomimes of theater companies.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1877
    Born
    Born on May 26, 1877.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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