DUNCAN DANCER: The Autobiography of Irma Duncan by Irma Duncan

DUNCAN DANCER: The Autobiography of Irma Duncan

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This fascinating and touching autobiography tells the story of the ""Duncan Dancers,"" educational arm of the mighty psyche of the innovating, evangelical dancer, Isadora Duncan. From Hamburg, Germany in 1905, eight-year-old Irma was ""miraculously"" enfolded into a school of sixteen little girls, presided over somewhat grimly by Tante Elizabeth, sister of Isadora. Exhilarated, enthralled, by Isadora, who was then just shaking the dance world to its very basic positions, the little students, sandalled, tuncied, limbs gleaming in a rigid European society, bemused by the billowing rhetoric of their mentor, caused a sensation in their public appearances across Europe. But Isadora's genius lay not in administration: lack of money hounded Art. Her personal love affairs and sorrows (she lost her own three children), debt and broken promises caused her to leave the school in alien and unsympathetic hands. Hardships followed-- grim governesses, near starvation in a terrible French rural winter, grueling travel. Eventually after extensive travel and performing, Irma in her twenties found herself the sole performing survivor of the ""school."" Lured to Russia by Isadora, Irma valiantly carried on her teaching work with a mammoth project sponsored (in name only) by the new revolutionary government, even travelled to China (an incredible experience), and after Isadora's death danced a farewell in an Ode to Joy performance in New York in 1933. A dance shelf staple.

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press