ISADORA DUNCAN: The Russian Years by Ilya Ilyich Schneider
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ISADORA DUNCAN: The Russian Years

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Written by Miss Duncan's assistant and successor, this is a marvelously intimate, detailed personal recall of the years when the flamboyant dancer took Moscow. Mr. Schneider was witness to practically everything from the moment she arrived and the Isadora he paints is lovable, irritating, resilient, impetuous, idealistic, impatient and, always, thoroughly irresistible. Lenin bravoed, Stanislavski sent her love letters, the Minister of Culture was happily bullied and the entire Russian nation embraced her. Here are the intimate details of her love affair with the much younger poet Serge Esenin, who comes off as willful, charming and more than slightly mad. Isadora, turned militant communist, struggled to attain her dream of a free aesthetic school for the worker's children; in the interim she and Serge embarked on a tour that was to antagnoize America and alienate Europe--Serge was deported from France and they ended up gloriously broke. Then there's the tragedy of their break-up and Serge's subsequent suicide. Mr. Schneider quietly corrects much of what has been previously written about Miss Duncan's Russian years and this certainly stands as an impressive, authoritative account. The Vanessa Redgrave movie may also spark additional interest.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1969
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World