Duncan was inspired by the ideals of ancient Greece and the ritual role that dance played as a sacred art there. She swapped the corsets and strictures of classical ballet for flowing Greek tunics and light sandals or bare feet. She developed a new style of movement that reflected the impulses of nature such as the sea and the wind.
Isadora Duncan dancing in the Theatre of Dionysus by Raymond Duncan (1903) - Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Library for the Performing Arts
A true pioneer, Isadora Duncan championed women’s rights. Acclaimed and condemned in equal measure, she simply couldn’t be ignored: she provided inspiration for many artists of her time, including the sculptor Auguste Rodin, the ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and the writer Gertrude Stein.
Now Viviana Durante, a former Royal Ballet principal dancer whose own company premiered a couple of years ago, is paying her own tribute to Isadora Duncan with the triple bill Isadora Now, that will premiere at the Barbican in 2020.
Part of the Barbican’s own Inside Out season, a year exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity, Isadora Now will include a piece of Duncan’s own choreography, the 1905 Dance of the Furies.
Frederick Ashton’s Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan, created in 1975, will be performed by Viviana Durante herself, her first solo performance in a decade. Durante was a mesmerising dancer, both in pure classical roles, and as one of the foremost interpreters of Kenneth MacMillan’s complex female characters; an opportunity to see her dancing again is not to be missed.
Completing the programme is a Barbican co-commission: a new piece by the choreographer Joy Alpuerto Ritter (better known, perhaps, as a dancer with the Akram Khan Company), set to specially composed live music by Lih Qun Wong.
Isadora Now will be performed by an all-female ensemble that includes, as well as Viviana Durante, Begoña Cao (ex-principal with English National Ballet), Sharia Johnson (of Rambert), Charmene Pang (of Iceland Dance Company) and Serena Zaccagnini.
Age Guidance: 8+
Post-show talk (free to same-day ticket holders): 27 February
|What||Viviana Durante Company, Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre|
|Where||Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, E2CY 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
21 Feb 20 – 29 Feb 20, 19:45 Dur.: 1 hour 10 mins approx inc one interval, no performance 23 & 24 Feb
|Price||£16-£50 (+booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|