“To Dance is to Live” - said Isadora Duncan.
Motion was the essence of her life; she was like a wild Lioness in union with nature. As a child she taught other girls to dance by imitating the movement of the ocean waves. It was her dream to create a school of life, and she succeeded in creating Modern Dance.
A free and energetic woman, Isadora Duncan was ahead of her time and a Muse to her generation. Born in San Francisco in 1877, Isadora always challenged conventional methods of dance and exceeded the limits of accepted forms. She danced with the Augustyn Daly’s Theatre in New York and moved on to a greater goal of creating beauty and spreading the joy of dance by educating the young.
Isadora Duncan invented modern dance as a reaction against the strict traditions of Classical Ballet. Isadora believed that classical ballet was “ugly and against nature,” whereas Modern Dance was an expression of natural movement and emotion. According to Isadora Duncan, the emphasis in modern dance is not on the steps as in the classical ballet tradition but upon improvisation and the human form. Isadora Duncan dedicated her life to dance and established several schools of modern dance, in Germany, Paris and Moscow.
Isadora Duncan travelled to Europe, visiting London and Paris in search of self expression and was triumphantly received there. Her genius was admired and appreciated by many artists, musicians and celebrities. She inspired the arts, media and social life and was one of the most influential people of her time. A wilful and poetic personality, Isadora had many admirers and was married to a famous Russian Poet, Sergei Yesenin, who was 18 years younger than her.
Isadora Duncan’s expressive dance and natural improvisation captivated audiences. She was a fascinating performer whose work was praised all over the world. She believed that:
“The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of the soul will have become the movement of the human body. The dancer will not belong to any nation but to humanity”
There was a dynamic vitality in Isadore Duncan’s expressive, natural movements. She experienced the music of dance and was in harmony with it. She brought dance back to its roots, back to natural forces, lively folklore and energetic acrobatics. She danced barefoot performing exhilarating dances with free-flowing costumes, and loose hair. She was a gifted teacher who single-handedly reinvented dance, inspiring generations of artists who honour Isadore Duncan as the mother of Modern Dance.