36 Facts About Isadora Duncan


Angela Isadora Duncan was an American dancer and choreographer, who was a pioneer of modern contemporary dance, who performed to great acclaim throughout Europe and the US.


Angela Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco, the youngest of the four children of Joseph Charles Duncan, a banker, mining engineer and connoisseur of the arts, and Mary Isadora Gray.


Isadora Duncan attended school from the ages of six to ten, but she dropped out, having found it constricting.


In 1896, Isadora Duncan became part of Augustin Daly's theater company in New York, but she soon became disillusioned with the form and craved a different environment with less of a hierarchy.


Isadora Duncan performed in the drawing rooms of the wealthy, taking inspiration from the Greek vases and bas-reliefs in the British Museum.


Isadora Duncan spent most of the rest of her life touring Europe and the Americas in this fashion.


In 1910, Isadora Duncan met the occultist Aleister Crowley at a party, an episode recounted by Crowley in his Confessions.


Isadora Duncan refers to Duncan as "Lavinia King", and used the same invented name for her in his 1929 novel Moonchild.


Isadora Duncan, wearing a Greek evening gown designed by Poiret, danced on tables among 300 guests; 900 bottles of champagne were consumed until the first light of day.


Isadora Duncan disliked the commercial aspects of public performance, such as touring and contracts, because she felt they distracted her from her real mission, namely the creation of beauty and the education of the young.


Isadora Duncan legally adopted all six girls in 1919, and they took her last name.


In 1914, Isadora Duncan moved to the United States and transferred her school there.


Isadora Duncan had planned to leave the United States in 1915 aboard the RMS Lusitania on its ill-fated voyage, but historians believe her financial situation at the time drove her to choose a more modest crossing.


In 1924, Isadora Duncan composed a dance routine called Varshavianka to the tune of the Polish revolutionary song known in English as Whirlwinds of Danger.


Isadora Duncan developed from this notion a style of 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 which included skipping, running, jumping, leaping, and tossing.


Isadora Duncan cited the sea as an early inspiration for her movement, and she believed movement originated from the solar plexus.


Isadora Duncan placed an emphasis on "evolutionary" dance motion, insisting that each movement was born from the one that preceded it, that each movement gave rise to the next, and so on in organic succession.


Isadora Duncan took inspiration from ancient Greece and combined it with a passion for freedom of movement.


Costumes were not the only inspiration Isadora Duncan took from Greece: she was inspired by ancient Greek art, and utilized some of its forms in her movement.


In both professional and private life, Isadora Duncan flouted traditional cultural standards.


Isadora Duncan became pregnant and gave birth to a son on August 13,1914, but he died shortly after birth.


When Isadora Duncan stayed at the Viareggio seaside resort with Eleonora Duse, Duse had just left a relationship with the rebellious and epicene young feminist Lina Poletti.


Isadora Duncan was loving by nature and was close to her mother, siblings and all of her male and female friends.


Later on, in 1921, after the end of the Russian Revolution, Isadora Duncan moved to Moscow where she met the poet Sergei Yesenin, who was eighteen years her junior.


Isadora Duncan had a relationship with the poet and playwright Mercedes de Acosta, as documented in numerous revealing letters they wrote to each other.


Isadora Duncan became notorious for her financial woes, scandalous love life and public drunkenness.


Isadora Duncan spent her final years moving between Paris and the Mediterranean, running up debts at hotels.


Isadora Duncan spent short periods in apartments rented on her behalf by a decreasing number of friends and supporters, many of whom attempted to assist her in writing an autobiography.


Isadora Duncan would speak of how memorable it was, but all that Zelda recalled was that while all eyes were watching Duncan, she was able to steal the salt and pepper shakers from the table.


Isadora Duncan wore a long, flowing, hand-painted silk scarf, created by the Russian-born artist Roman Chatov, a gift from her friend Mary Desti, the mother of American filmmaker, Preston Sturges.


Desti, who saw Isadora Duncan off, had asked her to wear a cape in the open-air vehicle because of the cold weather, but she would agree to wear only the scarf.


At the time of her death, Isadora Duncan was a Soviet citizen.


Isadora Duncan's will was the first of a Soviet citizen to undergo probate in the US.


Isadora Duncan was cremated, and her ashes were placed next to those of her children in the columbarium at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.


Garland was such a fan that she later lived in a building erected at the same site and address as Isadora Duncan, attached a commemorative plaque near the entrance, which is still there as of 2016.


Isadora Duncan has attracted literary and artistic attention from the 1920s to the present, in novels, film, ballet, theatre, music, and poetry.