Dancer brought many gifts to world |

Dancer brought many gifts to world

Dancer, adventurer, revolutionist, ardent defender of the poetic spirit, Isadora Duncan has been one of the most enduring influences on 20th century culture. Ironically, the very magnitude of her achievements as an artist, as well as the sheer excitement and tragedy of her life, have tended to dim our awareness of the originality, depth and boldness of her thought.

Isadora was a thinker as well as a poet, gifted with a lively poetic imagination, a radical defiance of “things as they are,” and the ability to express her ideas with verve and humor. She was also a theorist of dance; a critic of modern society, culture and education; and a champion of the struggles for women’s rights, social revolution and the realization of poetry in everyday life.

Virtually alone, Isadora restored dance to a high place among the arts. Breaking with convention, Isadora traced the art of dance back to its roots as a sacred art.

She developed, within this idea, free and natural movements inspired by the classical Greek arts, folk dances, social dances, nature and natural forces, as well as an approach to the new American athleticism that included skipping, running, jumping, leaping, tossing.

With free-flowing costumes, bare feet and loose hair, Duncan restored dancing to a new vitality using the solar plexus and the torso as the generating force for all movements to follow. Her celebrated simplicity was oceanic in depth – and Isadora is credited with inventing what later came to be known as modern dance.

(Note: For a riveting explanation for how Duncan was killed in 1927, go online at

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