Happy Birthday, Isadora Duncan

“Virtuous people are simply those who have not been tempted sufficiently, because they live in a vegetative state, or because their purposes are so concentrated in one direction that they have not had the leisure to glance around them.” – Isadora Duncan

Image from Kennedy Center ArtsEdge

Isadora Duncan was an American dancer who was born May 27, 1878 and died September 14, 1927. She is considered the creator of modern dance, often dancing barefoot and with much less formality than the traditional ballet. She was fond of dressing in light flowy costumes and often used a scarf as a prop; sadly, her death at age 50 was caused by her scarf getting caught in the wheel of a convertible she was in. Her remains are in the columbarian at Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris.

Ms. Duncan, an atheist, lived life on her owns terms, and didn’t follow the rules of her time. I admire her for that, and for her free spirited dancing. For more on her life, see a piece by Samuel Dickson prepared for a radio show in 1949. Sabrina Jones has written a graphic novel biography about Duncan which I found enjoyable if not very deep.

Image from Library of Congress

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