Origins of Modern Dance
In the 1800s and early 1900s, dancing was considered inspirational and a beautiful way to express art and emotions. Isadora Duncan believed she could express her views of life and convey them through her passion for dance. Despite her struggles throughout her life to be able to withstand her social status and gain acceptance to the public, Isadora Duncan gave raise to a new kind of dance that no one had ever seen and became one of the most famous dancers of her time.
Isadora Duncan was born in 1878 in San Francisco. She grew up in a childhood full of art and imagination. Isadora’s mother introduced four of her children, including Isadora who was the youngest, to classical music, poetry, literature, and art. A biography from Women‘s History states, “As a child, she learned unconventionally to ‘listen to the music with your soul’. Her mother instilled in Isadora a love for dance, theater, Shakespeare and reading. At the young age of 6 years old, she danced for money and taught other children to dance” (Women In History 1). Isadora created her own school of dance in which she continued teaching children. She supported her school by performing in America and in Europe. Eventually, Isadora passed away in Europe in 1927.
Many of the audiences disapproved of Isadora’s dances and believed they were disrespecting the calm symphony of the music that she would dance to. She began dancing symphonies from Beethoven and other famous music composers. Her movements to this music were a little more dramatic than the tranquility this music projected. Dr. Lynn Conner author of The Solo Dancers wrote, “The music critic from The New York Times, for example, wrote that there was ‘much question of the necessity or the possibility of a physical 'interpretation' of the symphony upon the stage...it seems like laying violent hands on a great masterpiece that had better be left alone’” (Conner 1). In Isadora’s era many of the dances were slow motion and...
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