Known by many as the greatest dancer of her time, Isadora Duncan was the matriarch of creative self-expression. A pioneer in the dance world and the women's movement, her name is synonymous with originality, spontaneity, and intrigue. She was the first woman to break simultaneously the barriers of art, love, fashion, sex, religion and marriage. Dorothy Parker christened her 'Duncan disorderly', praising her as 'magnificent, generous, gallant and fated'. Finally, here is a biography that does justice to the life of this unforgettable and exceptional woman. Hers was a life marked by tragedy - she never recovered from the accidental drowning of her two small children and was plagued by alcoholism. She died in a car accident in 1927; her scarf became entangled in the wheel of her car during a joy ride on the French Riviera and she was strangled.Never before has the life of Isadora Duncan been given such thorough and sweeping treatment.
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(198mm x 125mm x 50mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
Generally regarded as the most important dancer of her time, Isadora Duncan was also a symbol of creativity and bohemian self-expression (her death too, is one of the most famous - and bizarre - in history: strangled by her famous scarf, which caught in the wheel of a car she was driving in). Duncan initiated her own physical language to create (through dance) the spirit of American democracy and hope. Her innovations still influence modern dance to this day, and her sensuous dancing scandalized the bourgeois society of the day. As Peter Kurth's remarkable biography reminds us, Duncan was also a pioneer in the women's movement, refusing to accept rules of any kind. Dorothy Parker and the novelist John Dos Passos were among her admirers ('Art was whatever Isadora did', according to Dos Passos, while Parker called her 'magnificent, generous and gallant'), but her private life was troubled. Kurth is sympathetic and revealing about the traumas of Duncan's life, which was often marked by tragedy. She never fully recovered from the accidental drowning of her two small children, and her career was blighted by a long battle against alcoholism. But Duncan was always ahead of her time, and her desire to shock prefigured many of today's artists. (Most famously, she lifted her scarlet tunic during an American tour, saying, 'You don't know what beauty is! This is beauty!') This detailed biography sweeps away its predecessors in terms of insight and comprehensiveness (not to mention its many evocative photos), and conjures the life and lifestyle of an artistic heroine whose heritage is still making ripples today. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Peter Kurth
Peter Kurth has written for VANITY FAIR, THE NEW YORKER etc. ISADORA has taken him 10 years to write.