The Forgotten Tragedy of Isadora Duncan
Start writing a post
Sports

The Forgotten Tragedy of Isadora Duncan

The mother of modern dance

75
The Forgotten Tragedy of Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco in 1819. As a teenager, she dropped out of school, finding it too constricting. She made money teaching dance to other children in the neighborhood. When she taught, she sought to create a new form of dance that was an alternative to the rigid elements of ballet. Inspired by ancient Greek art, her performances consisted of loose hair, white tunics, and bare feet. She emphasized improvisation and the expression of human emotion. She also borrowed from American athleticism, which included skipping, running, and jumping. Strongly against the commercial aspects of fame, such as contracts and touring, she created her own school where she taught her philosophy. She called her students the "Isadorables." Even though she was rejected by major dance companies and ridiculed for her unorthodox beliefs, she had laid the foundation for modern dance.



In her personal life, she was a a bisexual, having passionate affairs with female poets and writers at the time. She was also an outspoken communist. During one of her shows in Boston, she bared her breast, waved a red scarf and shouted "It is red and so am I!" (Little did she know the dark irony of the scarf years later). In 1921, she moved to Moscow. She was married to famous Russian poet, Sergei Yesenin, who was eighteen years her junior. They were married for one year until, amidst his struggles with alcoholism and mental health, he had left her.

One night in France, she was getting into an automobile. Her friend told her to put on a coat because it was cold but she chose to only put on the long flowing scarf. She said "farewell my friends, I go to glory" and the car started. But the scarf was tied to the wheel, pulling her down and breaking her neck. She died instantly.

After her passing, six pupils from her first school took it upon themselves to carry on her legacy, adopting her last name and spreading her teachings across New York and Paris. Today the Isadora Duncan Dance Company remembers a woman who was truly ahead of her time.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

1839
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

2106
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

40904
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

10769
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

11738
Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments