A Day with Isadora, or " Why don't you spend some time with your mother over the long wkend?"
Ahem that would be Isadora Duncan, aka The Mother of Modern Dance...She was one of the first people to get the world to take dance (free barefoot dance) seriously ( along with art, music and poetry)...even wrote a Manifesto about it! Let's get reacquainted... shall we?
A Day in The Life of The Isadora Duncan Dance Company
with Christine Jowers
©Christine Jowers 2011, for The Dance Enthusiast
This year, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius. The grant is for the reconstruction of two nearly lost Duncan works, The Rakoczy March, an exuberant call to freedom and unity with music by Hector Berlioz -which has not been seen on the concert stage since the 1930’s- and The Slow March, a weighty expression of prophetic destiny created after the tragic death of Isadora’s two children, with music by Franz Schubert. Both group works, these dances show a fabulous spectrum of Duncan's choreographic range.
I was fortunate to spend a day with the company as their director, Lori Belilove, a third generation Duncan Dancer, coached them on the nuances of each piece.
Not only did I get a glimpse into the work of dancing in the Duncan style, but I also spoke with Lori about her personal journey and discovery of Isadora.
It is a day in the life of our New York City dance scene that I am happy to share with you in the following short video reports.
For more about Isadora's legacy , and for The Dance Enthusiast Isadora Duncan Birthday Minute...click here
For excerpts from Isadora Duncan's 1903 Berlin Speech that became the Manifesto for Modern Dance click here
Lori Belilove and The Isadora Duncan Dance Company rehearsing The Slow March to music by Franz Schubert-
Lori Talks About Leading the Dancers to a Grief Place --a Meditative Place and NO NIJINSKY HANDS!!
The Isadora Duncan Dance Company rehearsingThe Rakoczy March to music by Hector Berlioz.
Lori talks about learning this dance in remnants from 2nd Generation Duncan Dancer, Julia Levine,
she also talks about her future goals with the The Duncan work.
"There is a vital life energy which can be evoked from the work. That is what I am interested in."
Lori Belilove on The Duncan Legacy
"She basically said: Go inward first and your movement will be genuine--
This is a tremendous gift"
Lori Belilove, on Isadora
Lori Belilove on how she first came to discover Isadora Duncan's work.
Excerpts from Isadora Duncan's 1903 Speech in Berlin that later came to be known as The Manifesto for The New Dance (Modern Dance)
"...The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of the soul will have become the movement of the body. The dancer will not belong to a nation but to all humanity. She will dance not in the form of a nymph, nor fairy, nor coquette but in the form of a woman in its greatest and purest expression... From all parts of her body shall shine radiant intelligence, bringing to the world the message of the thoughts and aspirations of thousands of women. She shall dance the freedom of women.
This is the mission of the dancer of the future…she is coming, the dancer of the future: the free spirit, who will inhabit the body of new women; more glorious than any woman that has yet been; more beautiful than … all women in past centuries: The highest intelligence in the freest body!”
Isadora Duncan, The Dance of the Future. Leipzig: Eugen Diedrichs, 1903. (from Yale University-The Modernism Lab Website- see in footnotes)
The Isadora Duncan Dance Company
An Isadora Genealogy
The Modernism Lab