September 14, 2007

September 14 | Isadora Duncan

May 27, 1877 - September 14, 1927: Age 50

Isadora Duncan was one of the greatest dancers in history. Her individualism and free style changed cultural history. Born in America, she lived most of her life in France.
I say that she changed cultural history – not just the history of dance, but much more. Here is what she wrote in 1903: "I shall not teach the children to imitate my movements, but to make their own, I shall not force them to study certain movements, I shall help them to develop those movements which are natural to them.

There will always be movements which are the perfect expression of that individual body and that individual soul: so we must not force it to make movements which are not natural to it but which belong to a school.

The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of that soul will have become the movement of the body.”

In 1927 while touring in Europe, she was visiting friends in Nice, France. As she was being driven off in a sports car in Nice, France, by a young Italian mechanic, her last words were, “Adieu, mes amis. Je vais à l’amour.” (Originally her friend, Mary Desti, reported that she had said "Je vais à la gloire" in order to avoid the embarrassment of the implication that she was on her way to a date with the handsome mechanic. What she actually said was revealed later.) Her scarf, long enough to wind around her neck and trail dramatically out of the car, got caught in one of the car’s wheels. Duncan was dragged out of the car, hit the pavement, and died.

Sources: Wikipedia, Women in History

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