Did you know that the invention of modern dance came from a woman who rejected the formalities and frigidness of ballet?
Isadora Duncan is dubbed the “Mother of Modern Dance,” and this is how she earned that title.
Isadora was born in the late 1870s in San Francisco, California. She was born into a family with a great appreciation for the arts. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she moved with her mother and siblings to Oakland, California.
By age 10, Isadora dropped out of school and began teaching dance to local children to help her family make money.
As she got older and kept dancing, she realized that she loved freestyle forms of dance and improvisation, something she would use for the rest of her career.
When she was around 18-19 years old, she started traveling to audition and dance for theater companies, eventually Augustin Daly’s company in New York City.
She also took ballet classes but found them disappointing because of their rigid structure and routine.
Isadora couldn’t stand the corsets and shoes one had to wear for ballet as well. She wanted her body and movement to be free.
Isadora moved to London in 1898 to give private performances of her preferred style of dancing to wealthy people that hired her. Eventually, she could afford a studio, which she used to create more elaborate dance routines.
Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.