Sunday, August 10, 2008

*"My Life" by Isadora Duncan is a great read. She's sort of like the friend who is always saying, "You won't believe what just happened to me." Like that friend, she is hard to believe in toto, not because of any given thing that happens, but because of the consistently high drama level of it all.

I'm writing this before I read some book where someone tried to sort it all out.

Isadora Duncan did a lot of good. When she came on the scene, privileged US and European women engaged in torso binding. The extremes included women found in autopsies to have dents in their internal organs from their ribs being pushed into their guts.

Relax. What do you think? Kind of hard to really think under those circumstances, many avenues of imagination are difficult to reach when you are in waking hours, through your own choice, pushed in fiercely around the middle.

Isadora Duncan did many things and one of the paths she followed gave the slightly more daring privileged women the option of dressing in Greek/Roman-like loose dress and moving around freely.

Duncan and the women who did this had thoughts and ideas and theories about what they were doing. The thoughts and ideas gave her and them the freedom to move differently. Gave privileged women in the middle of the day on some days the power to get together with others and move outside in loose clothes in patterns of moement of their own making.



I think Duncan probably did have a fair number of men fall at her feet in worship and follow her around and such. Which was fun except when it wasn't but always intense.

Revolutionary leadership is what she showed when her loose clothes and free-form performances lead to women in little town and the hyper-respectable parts of cities got to move and breathe freely while hanging out with each other and playing around.

Both Isadora Duncan and women who perhaps without seeing or meeting her imitated, part-time, her clothes freedom, were mocked. That's one of the signs of women getting freer--mockery. Keep moving.