ISADORA DUNCAN by Walter Terry


Email this review


Legend and legacy--Isadora Duncan unleashed emotional ecstasy in natural movements that became a one-woman show of the rebellious origins of the modern dance. In a private revolution against Victorian tradition she generated, uncluttered by full dress and conventions, a licentious religion of dance with a new artistic dogma infused with the ideals of classical Greece. American society and nearly three decades of European audiences were shocked and taken by her brilliant innocence in performance, more shocked than taken, however, by her scandalous personal life--the unreined campaign for passion, international and immoral; the espousal of any and all causes (the ""Bolshevik hussy"" at large); and an utter disregard for the social niceties like wedlock and money until they became necessary or convenient. In her own words, her life belonged to Dionysus, Christ and Bacchus; in the critics' view, only her career saved her soul; in the memory of Ruth St. Denis, contemporary, and Martha Graham, successor, her dance created a new Terpsichorean world. All these voices speak in this unostentatious review of Duncan's life and art. The author spares the hapsodies and recognizes her as a melody from the past with echoes in the present performing arts. A record for the annals of the dance and those engaged in fascination by the first figure to set the stage for the ultra-modern interpreters.

Publisher: Dodd, Mead