The Revolutionary Dance

Subject: Art
Type: Descriptive Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 633
Topics: Dance, Art History, Biography

Isadora Duncan’s revolutionary Dance

The performance is entitled “Revolutionary dance”. In this dance, the choreographer is none other than Isadora Duncan. The dance was performed at the Scriabin’s Etude. The Revolutionary dance belongs to the genre of modern dance simply because it is perceived to have emerged out of a rebellion from the conventional ballet dancing styles. Free dance is the style that she uses in initiating her moves since she puts more emphasis on dancing bare footed, loosening her hairs, putting loose and buggy costumes and expressing emotions in the dance itself (Daly 8).

Isadora Duncan was born in 1977 to an accomplished Pianist mother. She dropped out of school at 12 years due to poverty, and began taking the ballet classes. In the course of her life she bore two children who died from a tragic accident when they drowned in a river. This was the toughest experiences of her life. Most of her dances after this experience had a lot of emotional expression. The dancer to the revolutionary piece is Lori Belilove. She is a dance teacher who has almost the same dance style as Isadora. The social significance to this piece is the aspect of emotional expression. The choreographer appeals, in a greater percentage, to the audience’s emotion. This piece is all about loss and personal failure and how the character comes out of this at the end of it. In the venue, the floor looks rough and cracked. There is also light at the center and darkness around it. This helps in expressing the broken and desperate life (166).

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Laban holds that the four aspects of effort are Weight, Space, Time and flow. The body should begin, on a lighter side, by moving against gravity. The dancer lifts her hands and legs up and then exerts more pressure on the ground. In regards to space, the dancer’s moves should be from indirect to direct ones. As the dance begins, the dancer makes moves that we cannot foresee and then follow with moves in a straight path. Every time she makes an indirect move, what follows is a direct move where she punches the ground with both her fists. The movement also begins slowly and then faster. The form of the piece is rondo. It is also dramatic and psychological since it involves expression of emotions (Billingham 35). Isadora Duncan’s movements were Greek inspirations which upheld the importance of the forces of nature into bodily movements. In her moves, she stressed on the torso, costumes that were flowing freely around the body, loosened hair, bare foot and emotional display.

The piece is about the death of Isadora Duncan’s two small children (Daly 28). It’s composed after the tragic death of her two children. During this period, she was still so emotional and this can be seen in her moves especially when she repeatedly punches the ground by her fists. This can be perceived as an act of cursing the earth. Symbolism of the female body is used in the dance to show that the female body should be treated with respect.

Duncan foresaw a great difference between the romanticism of the late 19th century and secularism of the 1930s. His role was to establish a transition from the romanticism to secular collectivism. She changes the ballet styles by downplaying the gender insensitivity which dominated it during the age of romanticism. She holds that the dance moves that sparked the hearts of the Americans in the early 20th century was the dance of angles and spasms and not the dance of bodily curves (Daly 217).

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  1. Daly, Ann. Done into Dance: Isadora Duncan in America. Middletown: Conn, 2002. Print.
  2. Billingham, Lisa A. The Complete Conductor’s Guide to Laban Movement Theory. Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, 2008. Print
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