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Dancer, Tea​cher, Philanthropist, Mother, Woman, Innovator, & Revolutionary 

Quotes about Isadora Duncan

"In those moments where beauty and emotion fuse and climax, something of the immortal floats about the dancer; she wanders in a divine ray, in a mist whereall works of art circle in unison with her" wrote a French composer of Isadora Duncan

Perhaps the greatest personality who has ever devoted herself to developing the art of the dance … For her the dance is not merely the art which permits the spirit to express itself in movement; it is the base of a whole conception of life, a life flexible, harmonious, natural" John Flitch

Angela Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan was born Angela Isadora Duncan

May 24 of 1877

in Oakland (San Francisco) California. 

Her father was a journalist.. her mother was a pianist.

Isadora had two older brothers, August and Raymond, and one older sister Elizabeth.

Isadora's childhood

My real education came during the evenings when my mother played to us Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Mozart, Chopin, or read aloud to us from Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, or Burns,"   Isadora wrote in her autobiography My Life.

Isadora began dancing very young 

After friends and family saw her dance she was put in ballet class

When the instructor told Isadora to stand on her toes, she asked why. He said because it is beautiful, she replied that it was ugly and against nature. 

Isadora never returned to ballet.

Isadora traveled to Europe

At 18 Isadora went from California to Chicago and then on to New York

She then traveled with her family to Europe 

​​To rediscover in its ideal form the beautiful rhythmic movements of the human body, in harmony with the highest beauty of physical form.  

Isado​ra in Albania

"Albania is a strange, tragic country.. 

I saw many tragic sights"

A mother sitting under a tree with her baby in her arms and three to four children clinging to her all hungry and without a home; their house burnt, the husband and father killed by the $urks, the flocks stolen, the crops destroyed" … to such as these my brother Raymond and I distributed many sacks of potatoes"& returned to our camp weary, yet a strange happiness crept into my spirit" My children were gone, but there were others hungry and suffering" Might I not live for those others' It was in Albania Sarande where there were no coiffeurs, that I first cut off my hair and threw it into the sea" 

Here Isadora devoted herself to helping the poor mothers and children, and saving the refugees.


In Albania Isadora Duncan worked, along with a few family members and friends, to helping the poor mothers and children, 

saving the refugees, to helping the needy

According to Peter Kurth in his detailed biography "Isadora, A Sensational Life"

"Isadora trudged long distances:

… through the mountains of Epirus, carrying bread, blankets, and what she hoped was comfort to the children of war" .to help those poor starving (children) does something to help me from dying in my desolation and despair (Isadora was greiving the loss of her three children)

Isadora assisted a friend with relief shelters in Albania during the Balkan Wars

Isadora's Dreams~

Isadora Duncan had two longstanding dreams

One was to perform Beethoven's entire 9th Symphony "Ode to Joy" with hundreds of children, the other to build a Temple of the Dance in India


To express what is most moral, healthful and beautiful in life, that is the mission of the dancer and to this I dedicate my life..


For More on Isadora Duncan~

More Isadora~

Learn & Watch More on Isadora~

The great Irish poet, Shaemus O’Sheel, captured the essence of Duncan’s work:

Isadora’s art was great symbolic art. Her stage was the wind-drifted border between flowering meadow and sandy beach on the margin of some nameless sea where the horn of Poseidon faintly echoes, and Kypris, the World’s Desire, might be born of any wandering wave …. And she was the soul of man confronting nature and the enigma of life, brave and troubled and terrified among the mysteries … Symbolic art … [that] taps the very sources of joy and grief, and startles from their slumber those race-memories that live unnoted in the still places of the soul.

New York Times Article

"Remembering the Matriarch Of Modern Dance"


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