Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Question of Isadora

Isadora Duncan c1914

Not sure whether to tempt fate with one more post on dance ... but then I remembered that Spanish saying 'Vivir con miedo, es como vivir a medias' ('a life lived in fear is a life only half lived')!

So why not!

And I'm after the answer to a niggling question.

So here goes.

From dancer friends, I thought the only footage of Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) dancing was a tiny fragment of her at an outdoor party in the 1920s, doing a few (abandoned) steps and taking the applause of those present.

... with one section, slightly clearer, repeated here ...

But then I found, on a French site, what was described as Isadora dancing at the Acropolis in Athens in the 1920s. Now, she'd been there at that time ...

... and she was free-spirited enough to dress 'scantily' (with respect to the time) ...

But when I looked at this new footage, I was just not sure if it's really her ...

Anyone know anything about this little film?

By the way, there is some footage of Isadora with her Russian husband Serguei Yesenin, traveling on board ship somewhere - which gives the tiniest glimpse of her personality ...

PS My fav photo of Isadora is one taken by Raymond Duncan in 1903 on the Lido in Venice ...

Isadora Duncan on the Lido in Venice in 1903

... where she seems so easy and natural and care-free!


  1. Post away - you are my 2nd most enjoyed blog - wins first place. But for both sexual and intellectual interest your blog is my absolute favorite. A dear friend was one of the producers of the movie "Isadora" - I have been fascinated by her name and history ever since.

  2. hey anon

    thanks for the encouragement! very much appreciated

    i remember the movie 'isadora' - with vanessa redgrave - your friend who was one of the producers must have done a lot of research on this extraordinary dancer - did he talk much about her?

    it's her influence on modern dance was like, it seems to me, like pavlova's on the ballet - through world wide touring

  3. So happy you went along the spirit of the Galician proverb. Isadora's impact on contemporary dance is still with us, she will never be(I fervently hope) be reduced to just another one of those so-called 20th century iconic figures whose relevance for posterity died with the century or in some cases even before that. So thank you a million times for posting her and about her on this blog. Much wider exposure than elsewhere can only be..not educating(that too if you know **** all about certain arts) but .. Inspiring (& inspired, thank you again)!

  4. hey A. Pete

    yes, i feel that way about her too

    glad you liked the post - lucky to find the footage to set me off on it

    and good to hear again

    best as always