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Isadora Duncan: Movement from the Soul

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Isadora Duncan: Movement from the Soul


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Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), the "Mother of Modern Dance," was a complex and charismatic rebel who dared to defy Victorian mores through both her art and the way she lived.

In this illuminating and gracefully crafted documentary, excerpts from Duncan's speeches, essays and autobiography are interwoven with rare archival photographs, historic film footage and re-creations of twelve of Duncan's dances to provide a balanced and engaging portrait of one of this century's most outspoken and intriguing personalities. Duncan raised dance from mere vaudeville entertainment to a legitimate art form, laying the foundation for today's modern dance. The first American performing artist to gain international acclaim, she dared to use her choreography to call people to arms, to express the plight of repressed workers and agitate for the freedom of women.

The film chronicles the creation of Duncan's dance schools in Berlin, Paris and Moscow; her uninhibited love affairs; the birth and tragic death of her two illegitmate children; and her own famous demise when her scarf met the whell of an Italian sports car. Isadora Duncan uses not only Duncan's dances but also her own words to tell her story. The narration, read by stage and film star Julie Harris, is culled from Duncan's speeches, essays and autobiography, providing a colorful and unsentimental framework for the film.

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