95 years ago, a famous dancer who defied the conventions of the time and whose life was accompanied by scandals and tragedies died tragically.
The American dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) went down in history as a pioneer of modern expressive dance, which she later supported by teaching children and founding dance schools. She understood the traditional and somewhat rigid ballet of the time as a manifestation of degeneration, and saw in dance above all an expression of a free mind. She wanted to rediscover the beauty of the movement of the human body, she danced dressed in a Greek tunic, barefoot and with loose hair, and created a new form full of emotion and improvisation, which rejected the limitations of classical dance.
Duncan explained her fight against conventions in her autobiography by saying that, considering the fate of her mother, she decided to fight all her life against marriage, for emancipation and for the right of all women to have children as they pleased.
She paid a high price for it. Unlike the artistic one, her private life was a series of scandals and tragedies. Her two children, Deirdre and Patrick, who she had with the actor Edward Gordon Craig and the son of the owner of a famous sewing machine factory, Paris Singer, drowned in the Seine in 1913 in Paris, along with their nanny. This happened after the driver got out, forgot to brake the car and the car went down the hill into the river. The son Duncan had with the Italian sculptor Romano Romanelli died shortly after birth. The Russian poet Sergei Yesenin, 17 years her junior, whom she married in 1922, cut his veins three years later in a Leningrad hotel and hanged himself.
Isadora Duncan | source: Profimedia
Duncan started drinking, got into debt, had a scandalous love life and lost her physical perfection. Her last – and literally fateful – lover was the Italian Benoît Falchetto, a mechanic in the Bugatti workshop. When he stopped for her in Nice on September 14, 1927 in an open sports car, her friend advised her to throw something over her so she wouldn’t catch a cold.
The choice of a long red scarf turned out to be tragic: the scarf became entangled in the wheel of the car shortly after leaving while driving, Isadora was thrown out and broke her neck, according to some reports from the press of the time, a strip of fabric even decapitated her. She found her final resting place in the Père Lachaise cemetery along with her children.