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Isadora Duncan
Plinio Nomellini, Gioia tirrena


Isadora Duncan, born in San Francisco in 1877, was a pioneer in her presentation and approach to movement in the art of dance. She liberated dance from the confines of the ballet of her time, shedding ballet slippers and corset to combine the use of simple, natural movement. She sought a movement vocabulary that would illuminate the human spirit and its connection to nature. She was the first to choreograph to music not originally written for dance, including the works of such composers as Chopin, Brahms, Schubert and Scriabin. Duncan's career was marker by controversy as American audiences took exception to her bare limbs and bold approach to music and movement. She took her determination and boundless spirit to Europe, and later to Russia where she met and inspired  some of the great artists and poets of her time.

As no films or notation of Isadora's dances were made until long after her death in 1927, her choreography has been preserved through the teaching on one generation of Duncan dancers to the next. After realizing her dream of establishing a school of dance, Isadora legally adopted six of ther most gifted students (Anna, Irma, Lisa, Margot, Erica, Marie-Theresa) who were fondly called the "Isadorables". These six women became the teachers of a third generation of Duncan dancers, among them Julia Levien, Hortense Kooluris, Gemze DeLappe, and Sylvia Gold. In turn these women have taught a new generation of Duncan dancers, and the cycle continues to this day.

Visit the Isadora Duncan Archive to learn more and connect to Duncan dancers all over the world.

Additional links:

New York Public Library

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