Woman of the Day: Isadora Duncan

History class, English class, Math class…growing up, I remember learning of the accomplishments of many people in US and world history.  Almost overwhelmingly though, the people discussed were white men. Very rarely were women discussed. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the accomplishments of women have historically been ignored.  This is another way that sexism has played out in society. Denying the accomplishments of women is an insult. It treats them as if they’re unimportant…as if they haven’t contributed significantly to events throughout human history. In this, a new ongoing series, I’ll be highlighting notable women, historically important women, and those women who ought to be more well known.  My intent is to show that women have contributed to the course of human history and ought to be recognized, rather than ignored or overlooked.  Angela Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) is today’s Woman of the Day:

Angela Isadora Duncan

[…] was born in 1877 in San Francisco, California. As a child she studied ballet, technique and forms like . She began her professional career in Chicago in 1896, where she met the theatrical producer . Soon after, Duncan joined his his touring company, appearing in roles ranging from one of the fairies in a “Mid-summer Night’s Dream” to one of the quartet girls in “The Giesha.” Duncan traveled to England with the Daly company in 1897. During this time she also danced as a solo performer at a number of society functions in and around London.

Isadora Duncan’s Innovations:

  1. Duncan was the first American dancer to develop and label a concept of natural breathing, which she identified with the ebb and flow of ocean waves.

  2. Duncan was the first American dancer to define movement based on natural and spiritual laws rather than on formal considerations of geometric space.

  3. Duncan was the first American dancer to rigorously compare dance to the other arts, defending it as a primary art form worthy of “high art” status.

  4. Duncan was the first American dancer to develop a philosophy of the dance.

  5. Duncan was the first American dancer to deemphasize scenery and costumes in favor of a simple stage setting and simple costumes. By doing this, Duncan suggested that watching a dancer dance was enough.

{advertisement}
Woman of the Day: Isadora Duncan
{advertisement}