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Isadora Duncan on the Lido in Venice (Raymond Duncan 1903)


"To seek in nature the fairest forms and to find the movement which expresses the soul in these forms—this is the art of the dancer. ... My inspiration has been drawn from trees, from waves, from clouds, from the sympathies that exist between passion and the storm."

ROBERT EDMOND JONES:  "Come away!  her dancing says.  Come out into the splendid perilous world!  Come up on the mountain-top where the great wind blows!  Learn to be young always!  Learn to be incessantly renewed!  Learn to live in the intemperate careless land of song and rhythm and rapture!  Say farewell to the world you know and join the passionate spirits of the world’s history!  Storm through into your dreams!  Give yourself up to the frenzy that is in the heart of life, and never look back, and never regret!"

REYNALDO HAHN:  "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 where all works of art circle in unison with her."


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Paris 1901 (Raymond Duncan)


CARL SANDBURG ("Isadora Duncan"):  "The wind?  I am the wind.  The sea and the moon?  I am the sea and the moon.  Tears, pain, love, bird-flights?  I am all of them.  I dance what I am.  Sin, prayer, flight, the light that never was on land or sea?  I dance what I am."

SHAEMAS O’SHEEL:  "What glorious things she makes the soul remember!  Once we were young, and the leaping blades of our desire striking the granite facts of life lit lively fires of wonder.  We were simple, so that when the moving beauty of nature and the joy of each other’s company stirred us to ecstasies, we sought free and natural expression; we dancedwe danced as the movements of waves and branches, and as the exquisite beauties of our own bodies suggested.  Such memories she evokes by her subtle gestures and movements. … The morning of time dawns on our spirits again, and once more we have a sense that hears the gods."


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At the Parthenon, 1920 (Edward Steichen)