DANCE, YOGA, NATURE
Dancer, Mother, Pioneer, Teacher, Revolutionary, Woman
Angela Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan was born Angela Isadora Duncan
May 24 of 1877
in Oakland (San Francisco) California.
Her father was a journalist.. her mother was a pianist.
Isadora had two older brothers, August and Raymond, and one older sister Elizabeth.
My real education came during the evenings when my mother played to us Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Mozart, Chopin, or read aloud to us from Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, or Burns," Isadora wrote in her autobiography My Life.
Isadora began dancing very young
After friends and family saw her dance she was put in ballet class
When the instructor told Isadora to stand on her toes, she asked why. He said because it is beautiful, she replied that it was ugly and against nature.
Isadora never returned to ballet.
Isadora traveled to Europe
At 18 Isadora went from California to Chicago and then on to New York
She then traveled with her family to Europe
To rediscover in its ideal form the beautiful rhythmic movements of the human body, in harmony with the highest beauty of physical form.
Isadora Duncan had two longstanding dreams
One was to perform Beethoven's entire 9th Symphony "Ode to Joy" with hundreds of children, the other to build a Temple of the Dance in India
QUOTES OF ISADORA DUNCAN
To express what is most moral, healthful and beautiful in life, that is the mission of the dancer and to this I dedicate my life..
The Truth of Being is in the Harmonious Integration of Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotion.
Seeking the Highest Intelligence in the Freest Body
If we seek the real source of the dance, if we go to nature, we find that the dance of the future is the dance of the past, the dance of eternity, and has been and always will be the same... The movement of waves, of winds, of the earth is ever the same lasting harmony
“There are likewise three kinds of dancers: first, those who consider dancing as a sort of gymnastic drill, made up of impersonal and graceful arabesques; second, those who, by concentrating their minds, lead the body into the rhythm of a desired emotion, expressing a remembered feeling or experience. And finally, there are those who convert the body into a luminous fluidity, surrendering it to the inspiration of the soul.”
"The real American type can never be a ballet dancer. The legs are too long, the body too supple and the spirit too free for this school of affected grace and toe walking."
"The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of her soul...This is the truly creative dancer, natural but not imitative, speaking in movement out of herself and out of something greater than all selves."
“A dancer, if she is great, can give to the people something that they can carry with them forever. They can never forget it, and it has changed them, though they may never know it.”
I spent long days and nights in the studio seeking that dance which might be the divine expression of the human spirit through the medium of the body’s movement. For hours I would stand quite still, my two hands folded between my breasts, covering the solar plexus …. I was seeking and finally discovered the central spring of all movement, the crater of motor power, the unity from which all diversities of movements are born, the mirror of vision for the creation of the dance — it was from this discovery that was born the theory on which I founded my school …. When I had learned to concentrate all my force in this one center, I found that thereafter when I listened to music the rays and vibrations of the music streamed to this one fount of light within me, where they reflected themselves in Spiritual Vision, not the mirror of the brain but of the soul.
It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture, and I know enough about the art of writing to realize that it would take as many years of concentrated effort to write one simple, beautiful sentence.
I have discovered the dance.
I have discovered the art which has been lost for two thousand years
"So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world."
"Every child that is born in civilization has a right to a heritage of Beauty."
"Only that education is right which includes dance."
If I could say it, I would not have to dance it.
People don't live nowadays: they get about ten percent out of life.
Anybody can and should dance...It's good for the body and the spirit.
“I am seeking that dance which might be the divine expression of the human spirit through the medium of the body's movement.”
"I finally discovered the source of all movement, the unity from which all diversities of movement are born."
I have only danced my life. As a child I danced the spontaneous joy of growing things. As an adolescent, I danced with joy turning to apprehension of the first realisation of tragic undercurrents; apprehension of the pitiless brutality and progress of life.
The great Irish poet, Shaemus O’Sheel, captured the essence of Duncan’s work:
Isadora’s art was great symbolic art. Her stage was the wind-drifted border between flowering meadow and sandy beach on the margin of some nameless sea where the horn of Poseidon faintly echoes, and Kypris, the World’s Desire, might be born of any wandering wave …. And she was the soul of man confronting nature and the enigma of life, brave and troubled and terrified among the mysteries … Symbolic art … [that] taps the very sources of joy and grief, and startles from their slumber those race-memories that live unnoted in the still places of the soul.
New York Times Article
"Remembering the Matriarch Of Modern Dance"
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