Mother of Modern Dance


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Dancer, Mother, Pioneer, Tea​cher, 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.

Isadora's childhood

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's Dreams~

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


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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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