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(San Francisco, 1878 - nice, 1927) American dancer. Daughter of a disengaged and eventually divorced, marriage instinct leaned it towards the dance since childhood. In his autobiography, titled my life, wrote: "I was born on the shores of the sea. My first idea of movement and dance has surely come me from the rhythm of the waves..." Ten years after he left school to devote himself to his passion and seventeen went to New York, where he joined the company of Agustin Daly.
The actor and businessman ended up not convince him experiments and innovations that Isadora proposed to him continuously, eager to put into practice a new method of artistically interpret poems through improvisation, which had already conceived at the time. Feeling unhappy, the Duncan left the company two years later and went with his family to England, where it was proposed to study the movements of the ancient dance in the Greek vases of the British Museum. It was a time of training, reading enthusiasts and test of new dances; looking for, above all, new channels for the choreographic expression and alternative to deepen each day in his art paths.
The hits began to arrive immediately. With a style based on the dance of the ancient Greece, gave a series of concerts in London that aroused the enthusiasm towards him. The press declared: "in this current era of elaboration and artificiality, Miss Duncan art is like a breath of fresh air from the high of a mountain populated by pine trees, refreshing as ozone part, beautiful, and true as the sky blue, natural and genuine. It is a picture of beauty, joy and abandon, as it must have been when the world was young and men and women danced to the Sun moved by the simple happiness of existence."
Indeed, Isadora Duncan stated that dancing should be an extension of the natural movements of the body, which she considered beautiful and much more beautiful than that carried out by classical dancers, who was branded as forced and unnatural; for this reason, refused to constrain the feet in the dance sneakers. I felt an aesthetic admiration for the beauty of the human body, influenced by the cannons of the statues and paintings of classical Greece. His choreographic method was a kind of philosophy based on the belief that dance was the individual in harmonious communication with the intrinsic rhythm of nature and celestial bodies.
From that moment, Isadora did not travel, claimed by the best theaters of Europe. In Paris, he imbued the spirit of Rodin and Bourdelle. Later he discovered Italy and Renaissance, and is found with slight and subtle Botticelli, whose influence on his art is glaring from those years. Finally, in 1902, was one of his dreams: travel to Greece and pilgrimage to the sources of the art of the West. Close to Athens, on the Hill of Kopanos, began to build a temple devoted to the dance, but the income of his tours revealed themselves insufficient to cover expenses and the company had to be abandoned.
On the occasion of his first trip already then famous Isadora was invited to Petersburgo in 1905, by the no less famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova to visit his Studio. There he had the privilege of contemplating the great diva doing their exercises. The own Isadora tells it in his memoirs: "I found to Pavlova's foot with its tulle dress practising at the bar, undergoes the most rigorous gymnastics, while an old gentleman with a violin marked time and urged it to make greater efforts; It was the legendary master Petipa. I sat down and three hours watched tense and perplexed amazing exercises of Pavlova, which seemed to be from spring steel. His beautiful face adopted the severe lines of the martyr. Not stopped a single moment. All his training seemed to be intended to separate completely the mind of gymnastic movements of the body. The mind should move away from the rigorous discipline muscle. This was precisely the opposite of the theories on which I had founded my school a year earlier. What I wanted is that mind and spirit were the engines of the body and enhance it without apparent effort toward the light."
It is no surprise this full disagreement with older standards of the ballet by who conceived the dance as a priesthood, as a sublime spiritual emotion form and as a liturgy in which body and soul had to be dragged music into pure art.
Isadora, was the love of nature and life which was transmitted through the movement, following the example of the clouds, the sea or the tops of the trees blown by the wind. Enemy of the ballet, which he considered a genre of false and absurd, said that dance should establish a warm harmony between humans and living and not be just a pleasant and frivolous fun. She danced barefoot, with a simple Greek tunic of transparent silk on her naked body, as a pagan Priestess conveyed by the pace. Today is considered the initiator of the modern dance American and his figure is evoked with fervor in all the stages of the world.
During those years, the most important European cities could extasiar before the new star, which they called "the nymph". On all sides he had friends painters, poets and intellectuals and was surrounded by admirers who wished to meet her. Passionate, beautiful and wonderful, exerted an irresistible seduction power among all those around her. He began to associate many masculine names with the Isadora, and soon was born the legend of a curse that seemed to emanate from his person and swoop down on all beings who gave her love, a spell that would end in terrible shape with his own life.
The first "victim" was the Polish Iván Miroski, consumed by a malignant fever shortly after separating from Isadora. Then, strange mishaps and disappearances splashed their relationships with their lovers, occasional or long-lasting. In 1913, the dark influence was primed on their own children, Deirdre and Patrick, when Isadora was triumphing in Paris.
One day, overwhelmed by the trials, entrusted children to the governess so take them by car to Versailles. She recounts that he perhaps had a foreshadowing of the drama: "to leave them in the car, my Deirdre placed his lips against the glass of the window; I I bent and kissed the glass on the same site where she had put the mouth. Then, cold glass gave me a rare print and made it small me a shudder". Minutes later, the car along the Seine and turn to cross one of the bridges, the brakes did not respond to the will of the driver.
The car plunged into the dark waters, and two children died drowned. Isadora said: "If this misfortune had happened earlier, I would have been able to overcome it; later, it would not have been so bad, but at that time, in full maturity of my life, I wiped out". Indeed, the dancer annulled all its commitments and decided to interrupt his career, devoting himself entirely to teaching and trying to forget their misfortune into a tiring job.
Several times he thought of killing yourself, but always deterred it the idea that other children, beginning with the students of the school which had been established in 1904, were in need of it. He began to participate in charity drives and tried to bring his teachings to different countries, which led her to Moscow in 1921, when the Soviet Government recalled its interest in receiving it.
With the onset of new pilgrimages were romances. In the Soviet Union he met Sergei Esenin, poet and official singer of the 1917 Revolution, and got hooked on the eventful atmosphere of illusions they breathed in the country and that Sergei embodied to perfection. Esenin fell madly in love of Isadora and got it to renounce its purpose, repeatedly asserted, not get married.
But their union proved catastrophic. After touring Europe and the United States, Sergei sank into a deep apathy caused by a phase of creative infertility that blamed a living far from their homeland. The truth is that when the marriage returned to Moscow, the poet continued in the same State and immersed himself in unstoppable form in Misanthropy and alcoholism.
Half-crazy, his behavior began to be outrageous even for the own Isadora. Esenin used to disappear, leaving behind him a trail of empty bottles and broken furniture. The patience of "the nymph" reached the limit. At the end of 1924, Isadora, now divorced, left the Soviet Union. A year later he knew, the news published in the newspapers, that her ex-husband life had removed.
The Russian adventure of the Duncan not only ended in failure from the sentimental point of view. While at the beginning it had pervaded to perfection with its interlocutors, excited to start his future dance school, later this initiative was not well received by some Soviet leaders that already began to show the symptoms of the bureaucratic sclerosis that would later become proverbial in the Communist system.
Returning to Europe, nor capitalist businessmen seemed excited about their projects. In addition, their atheistic views, his favorable attitude towards the Russian Revolution and its apparent acceptance of free love were not qualities that Western public opinion, on the defensive after Communist hatching, distance positively.
Isadora decided to return to the stage and gave a series of concerts that were a failure; the most faithful public that had led her to the death of their sons in twinkling began to fail him; the rooms were it future, silent and icy. Isadora took refuge in Nice, where he completed his autobiography and prepared the art of dance, book that was intended to provide a summary of his teachings.
It was absorbed by this task when, Wednesday September 1927 l4, decided to take a break and take a walk in your Bugatti. The dramatic accident took place when a car drove fast the Promenade des Anglais: her long red shawl, who had waved to the crowd that was waiting for her on his return from the Soviet Union, became entangled in the spokes of one of the rear wheels of the car; Isadora could not release the murderous embrace and died strangled. Not even she could have imagined a finish more in line with its extravagant and romantic existence.