How did isadora duncan change dance

Isadora Duncan | Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Dance Company

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) was an American pioneer of dance and is an important figure in both the arts and history. Known as the “Mother of Modern Dance,” Isadora Duncan was a self-styled revolutionary whose influence spread from American to Europe and Russia, creating a sensation everywhere she performed. Her style of dancing eschewed the rigidity of ballet and she championed the notion of free-spiritedness coupled with the high ideals of ancient Greece: beauty, philosophy, and humanity. She brought into being a totally new way to dance, and it is this unique gift of Isadora Duncan that the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation wishes to preserve, present, and protect.

Dancer, adventurer, and ardent defender of the free spirit, Isadora Duncan is one of the most enduring influences on contemporary culture and can be credited with inventing what came to be known as Modern Dance. With free-flowing costumes, bare feet, and loose hair, she took to the stage inspired by the ancient Greeks, the music of classical composers, the wind and the sea. Isadora elevated the dance to a high place among the arts, returning the discipline to its roots as a sacred art. Duncan shed the restrictive corsets of the Victorian era and broke away from the vocabulary of the ballet. Stepping out of the dance studio with a vision of the dance of the future, Isadora embraced artists, philosophers, and writers as her teachers and guides.

According to Isadora, the development of her dance was a natural phenomenon – not an invention, but a rediscovery of the classical principles of beauty, motion, and form. Her dances were born of the impulse to embrace life’s bittersweet challenges, meeting destiny and fate head-on in her own whirlwind journey, filled with both tragedy and ecstasy. She was determined to “dance a different dance,” telling her own life story through abstract, universal expressions of the human condition.

Shocking some audience members and inspiring others, Isadora posed a challenge to the prevailing orthodoxies of her time. Isadora was a champion in the struggle for women‘s rights. Many saw a glorious vision for the future in Isadora’s choreography. Her influence upon the development of progressive ideas and culture from her time to our own has yet to be measured. She has inspired artists, thinkers, and idealists everywhere.

Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco, California on May 26, 1877, the youngest of four. Her parents were divorced by 1880 and her mother Dora moved with her children to Oakland, where she struggled to make ends meet as a piano teacher. Mrs. Duncan spent her evenings reading aloud to her “Clan Duncan”, the works of Shakespeare, Browning, Shelley, Keats, Dickens, Ingersoll, and Whitman; sowing the seeds of artistic inspiration in her youngest child, Isadora. In her early years, Isadora attended school but found it stifling and dropped out at the age of ten to be self-educated at the Oakland public library under the guidance of poet-laureate Ina Coolbrith. Ever resourceful, Isadora and her sister Elizabeth earned extra money by teaching dance classes to local children. After a series of ballet lessons at age 9, Isadora proclaimed ballet a school of “affected grace and toe walking,” and quit. Later, in her autobiography My Life, Isadora wrote that in her opinion, ballet training resulted in the look and feel of an “articulated puppet…producing artificial mechanical movement not worthy of the soul.”

In 1895, with a voracious appetite for art and life, Isadora traveled first to Chicago, and then to New York and by 1899 she moved to Europe to continue developing her art.

During her youth in San Francisco, Isadora had already formulated her signature movement style. As she matured, she developed her choreography and started setting her dances to early Italian music, with costumes and dance motifs inspired by Renaissance paintings and ancient Greek myths. As a “California novelty” Duncan was invited to perform for salons and garden parties by wealthy patrons of the arts. She was often met with opposition and ridicule. One society lady is known to have remarked, “If my daughter dressed like Miss Duncan I would lock her up in the attic!” Isadora struggled financially but rejected invitations to perform in vaudeville circuit variety shows.

Eventually, this original and intrepid Californian caught the attention of the Hungarian press. In 1902 her debut performances in Budapest with a full orchestra were a critical success and ran sold-out for 30 days. Her encore was Johann Strauss’s popular and intoxicating waltz The Blue Danube.

Within two years of performing her own choreography, Duncan had achieved both notoriety and success. At this point, she could afford to take her spiritual pilgrimage to Greece, realizing her life’s dream to touch the sacred marble of the Acropolis and steep herself in the ancient mysteries of Greek art and architecture.

In 1905, Isadora settled in Gruenwald outside of Berlin and opened her first dance school. She subsidized the entire establishment with proceeds from her tours. Along with her sister Elizabeth, she started training the young dancers who would become her performing company, “The Isadorables,” as dubbed by the press. Initially, she enrolled twenty girls and boys, but her effort to include boys was unsuccessful and was finally dropped due to a lack of funds.

By this time, Isadora had begun to achieve celebrity status among the artistic and cultural illuminati of her day. Auguste Rodin, Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Gertrude Stein all paid tribute to her in sculpture, choreography, and poetry. When the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées was constructed in 1913, Isadora’s image was sculpted by Antoine Bourdelle for the facade and murals in the auditorium.

Duncan had vowed never to marry, but out of wedlock, she had a daughter named Deirdre whose father was the famous set designer, Edward Gordon Craig. Although their passionate love affair ended after several years, he was to remain her lifelong friend. Her second child, Patrick, was fathered by a wealthy heir to a sewing machine fortune named Paris Singer. Singer underwrote the founding and operation of another of Duncan’s second school prior to World War I in Bellevue, just outside of Paris. Later, in 1913, Deirdre and Patrick drowned with their nanny as their car rolled into the river Seine. Isadora was devastated. Her dances Mother and Marche Funebre, featuring music by Scriabin and Chopin respectively, were inspired by her loss and conveyed her heartbreak on a universal level.

Picking up the pieces, Isadora retreated to Italy to spend time with her friend Eleanora Duse, and started work on choreography set to Schubert’s 9th Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony. Between 1916 and 1920, she performed solo and toured extensively across Europe and America, including one sojourn to South America.

Isadora was greatly taken with the social and political revolution that led to the creation of the Soviet Union. Believing that she could contribute to the development of a free and heroic society, Duncan followed her conviction and passion to Moscow in 1921 to make arrangements with the new government to found a new school of dance. She longed to “give her art in exchange for a free school,” and to “teach a thousand children.” Operating the Moscow school with help from Isadorable, Irma Duncan, Isadora experienced one of her most artistically prolific and critically successful periods. Timeless and mature works including The Revolutionary with music by Scriabin and a suite of dances set to Russian work songs communicate her fury at social injustice, her empathy with human suffering, and her faith in the power of perseverance to overcome obstacles. In Moscow, Isadora met the young poet Sergei Esenin and broke her previous vow by marrying him in order that he be allowed to travel with her during a tour of America. America denounced Isadora’s outspoken love of Russia but Duncan was unrepentant: “Yes, I am a revolutionist,” she said to the press, “All true artists are revolutionists.”

Isadora Duncan’s death was as dramatic as her life. On September 14, 1927, she encountered a young driver in Nice, France and suggested he take her for a spin in his open-air Bugatti sports car. As the car took off, she reportedly shouted to her friends, “Adieu, mes amis, je vais a la gloire!” — “Goodbye my friends, I go to glory!” Moments later, her trailing shawl became entangled in the rear wheel, breaking her neck instantly.

Despite Duncan’s untimely death, her legacy continues to inspire contemporary artists and boundary-breaking minds around the world. Early in Isadora’s career, sculptor Laredo Taft had described her as “Poetry personified. She is not the tenth muse but all nine muses in one.” And so it was. There are over 40 books about Isadora Duncan, countless drawings, paintings, and sculptures, two major motion pictures, a dozen TV documentaries, and several plays and poems.


“… the woman who put the Modern into Modern Dance.”

– Jack Anderson, dance critic, The New York Times, 2008


“When we dance Isadora, we dance with the whole world. Our planet needs that.”

— Alice Bloch, critic and dance teacher, Dance Magazine, 2008


“She emphasized the connectedness of body and soul at a time when links between human beings, their work, and the land were being severed and Victorian prudery shaped moral law.”

— Deborah Jowitt, dance critic, Village Voice, 1998


“What mattered in Isadora’s Hellenic dances was not the Greek themes or the gauzy costumes, but the uninhibited vitality, the sense of a glorious nakedness.

— Lewis Mumford, Cultural Critic, 1905


 “She creates, she poses, she dances. But not like anyone else. Oh, no! She would be a revelation to the star ballet dancer; she is no high kicker, or toe acrobat. She employs no illusions, no cunningly arranged mirrors, no beautifully multicolored lime-lights. Never was there anything less sensational than her work; it is severe in its simplicity…”

St. Louis Sunday Gazette Munich, December 26, 1902

Isadora Duncan | Biography, Dances, Technique, & Facts

Isadora Duncan

See all media

May 26, 1877 or May 27, 1878 San Francisco California
September 14, 1927 Nice France
Notable Family Members:
spouse Sergey Aleksandrovich Yesenin

See all related content →

Top Questions

Why is Isadora Duncan so famous?

Isadora Duncan was an American dancer whose teaching and performances in the late 19th and early 20th century helped to free ballet from its conservative restrictions and presaged the development of modern dance. She was among the first to raise interpretive dance to the status of creative art.

What was Isadora Duncan’s dancing like?

Isadora Duncan was a great innovator: her repudiation of artificial technical restrictions and her reliance on the grace of natural movement helped to liberate dance from its dependence on rigid formulas and on displays of brilliant but empty technical virtuosity. She often danced barefoot and as scantily clad as a woodland nymph.

What was Isadora Duncan’s family like?

One of four children, Isadora Duncan was raised by her music teacher mother. Duncan had a child by theatre director-designer Gordon Craig and another by Paris Singer, heir to the sewing machine fortune. Both children drowned when their car rolled into the Seine River. Duncan married poet Sergey Aleksandrovich Yesenin, who later committed suicide.

How did Isadora Duncan become famous?

Isadora Duncan rejected the rigidity of ballet and based her dancing on natural movements. Unsuccessful in America, she went abroad, where the patronage of the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell brought invitations to appear at private receptions of London’s leading hostesses. Her dancing enraptured her audiences, and she was soon performing in crowded theatres throughout Europe.

How did Isadora Duncan die?

During the last years of her life, Isadora Duncan lived precariously in Nice on the French Riviera, where she met with a fatal accident: her long scarf became entangled in the rear wheel of the car in which she was riding, and she was strangled.


Read a brief summary of this topic

Isadora Duncan, original name (until 1894) Angela Duncan, (born May 26, 1877, or May 27, 1878, San Francisco, California, U.S.—died September 14, 1927, Nice, France), American dancer whose teaching and performances helped to free ballet from its conservative restrictions and presaged the development of modern expressive dance. She was among the first to raise interpretive dance to the status of creative art.

Although Duncan’s birth date is generally believed to have been May 27, 1878, her baptismal certificate, discovered in San Francisco in 1976, records the date of May 26, 1877. Duncan was one of four children brought up in genteel poverty by their mother, a music teacher. As a child she rejected the rigidity of the classic ballet and based her dancing on more natural rhythms and movements, an approach she later used consciously in her interpretations of the works of such great composers as Brahms, Wagner, and Beethoven. Her earliest public appearances, in Chicago and New York City, met with little success, and at the age of 21 she left the United States to seek recognition abroad. With her meagre savings she sailed on a cattle boat for England.

At the British Museum her study of the sculptures of ancient Greece confirmed the classical use of those dance movements and gestures that hitherto instinct alone had caused her to practice and upon a revival of which her method was largely founded. Through the patronage of the celebrated actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, she was invited to appear at the private receptions of London’s leading hostesses, where her dancing, distinguished by a complete freedom of movement, enraptured those who were familiar only with the conventional forms of the ballet, which was then in a period of decay. It was not long before the phenomenon of a young woman dancing barefoot, as scantily clad as a woodland nymph, crowded theatres and concert halls throughout Europe. During her controversial first tour of Russia in 1905, Duncan made a deep impression on the choreographer Michel Fokine and on the art critic Serge Diaghilev, who as impresario was soon to lead a resurgence of ballet throughout western Europe. Duncan toured widely, and at one time or another she founded dance schools in Germany, Russia, and the United States, though none of these survived.

Her private life, quite as much as her art, kept her name in the headlines owing to her constant defiance of social taboos. The father of her first child, Deirdre, was the stage designer Gordon Craig, who shared her abhorrence of marriage; the father of her second child, Patrick, was Paris Singer, the heir to a sewing machine fortune and a prominent art patron. In 1913 a tragedy occurred from which Duncan never really recovered: the car in which her two children and their nurse were riding in Paris rolled into the Seine River and all three were drowned. In an effort to sublimate her grief she was about to open another school when the advent of World War I put an end to her plans. Her subsequent tours in South America, Germany, and France were less successful than before, but in 1920 she was invited to establish a school of her own in Moscow. To her revolutionary temperament, the Soviet Union seemed the land of promise. There she met Sergey Aleksandrovich Yesenin, a poet 17 years younger than she, whose work had won him a considerable reputation. She married him in 1922, sacrificing her scruples against marriage in order to take him with her on a tour of the United States. She could not have chosen a worse time for their arrival. Fear of the “Red Menace” was at its height, and she and her husband were unjustly labeled as Bolshevik agents. Leaving her native country once more, a bitter Duncan told reporters: “Good-bye America, I shall never see you again!” She never did. There followed an unhappy period with Yesenin in Europe, where his increasing mental instability turned him against her. He returned alone to the Soviet Union and, in 1925, committed suicide.

During the last years of her life Duncan was a somewhat pathetic figure, living precariously in Nice on the French Riviera, where she met with a fatal accident: her long scarf became entangled in the rear wheel of the car in which she was riding, and she was strangled. Her autobiography, My Life, was published in 1927 (reissued 1972).

Isadora Duncan was acclaimed by the foremost musicians, artists, and writers of her day, but she was often an object of attack by the less broad-minded. Her ideas were too much in advance of their time, and she flouted social conventions too flamboyantly to be regarded by the wider public as anything but an advocate of “free love.” Certainly her place as a great innovator in dance is secure: her repudiation of artificial technical restrictions and reliance on the grace of natural movement helped to liberate the dance from its dependence on rigid formulas and on displays of brilliant but empty technical virtuosity, paving the way for the later acceptance of modern dance as it was developed by Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, and others.

Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now

Sewell Stokes

Before the wedding with Yesenin, Duncan corrected the year of birth in the passport

Isadora Duncan was born on May 27, 1878. She entered the history of world art primarily as the founder of a new direction in dance - the so-called free dance.

Free dance stood at the origins of modern dance. Its main feature was the liberation from the traditions of ballet and merging with life. For the founders of this direction, primarily for Duncan, free dance has become a special philosophy of life. He was expected to transform life itself, he had to change his worldview.

In the dance, Isadora Duncan used ancient Greek plastique, a tunic, instead of a ballet costume. She always danced barefoot.

But Duncan's innovation in dance is not at all what she is remembered for in our country. Indeed, in the history of Russia, Isadora Duncan will forever remain the wife of the "last poet of the village" - Sergei Yesenin.

Before meeting with the poet, Duncan had to go through many trials, suffering and life upheavals. Her father left his wife before Isadora was born. At the age of 13, little Isadora left school, and at 18 she left to conquer Chicago. There began a series of stormy novels Isadora. She almost married a poor Pole, Ivan Miroski, but he turned out to be married.

Following Miroski, Isadora had a stormy romance with actor Oscar Berezhi. She met him in Budapest. It even came to an engagement, but it was eventually terminated - Berezhi preferred a career to a girl.

After an affair with Gordon Craig, a theater director, Isadora gave birth to a girl at the age of 29. However, Craig never married Duncan.

At the end of 1907, Isadora gave concerts in St. Petersburg. There she met Stanislavsky, who admired her talent on stage. Duncan wanted his aesthetic admiration to develop into something more. Once she even dared to kiss him on the lips. She described this episode in detail in her autobiography. Stanislavsky "had a terribly surprised look ... he, looking at me, exclaimed with horror:" But what are we going to do with a child? "What kind of child?" - I asked. "Ours, of course." He looked at me sadly and left.

Once Isadora met the son of Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine, Lohengrin, as Duncan called him. They traveled a lot together, they had a son, Patrick. But Singer was too jealous, and Isadora did not want to deny herself the pleasure of enjoying the attention of numerous admirers. As a result, the relationship between Duncan and Singer cracked.

After some time, Isadora Duncan had to endure the greatest tragedy of her life - both of her children died.

In 1921, Lunacharsky invited Duncan to open a dance school in Moscow and promised her financial support. But the promises did not last long. Duncan was about to leave for Europe, but it was at this time that her romance with Sergei Yesenin began. The dancer remains in Russia.

The poet was 27 years old, and Isadora was 43 years old. Despite this, they quickly became close, and on May 2, 1922, their marriage was registered. Evil tongues said that Yesenin was in love not so much with Duncan herself, but with her world fame.

Before the wedding, Isadora asked to correct the date of her birth in her passport. She was 16 years older than Yesenin and was afraid that her husband would be unpleasant during the ceremony. However, how much her age changed remained a mystery.

The marriage of Duncan and Yesenin did not last long. He was initially very strange in terms of the traditional idea of ​​​​a family. After all, Isadora did not know Russian, and Yesenin did not speak English. The couple communicated either with gestures or through an interpreter.

Yesenin was subject to frequent mood swings, sometimes he shouted at his wife and even beat her. They say that the young poet could not come to terms with the fact that he is considered only the husband of a great dancer. Soon Yesenin and Duncan divorced.

Isadora survived Yesenin by 2 years. In 1925, the poet hanged himself at the Angleterre Hotel. And in 1927 there was a tragedy with Duncan. She went for a car ride wrapped in a large red scarf. The edge of the scarf accidentally caught on the wheel of the car and strangled Isadora.

So unexpectedly ended the life of Isadora Duncan, a dancer, uniquely beautiful on stage and uniquely unhappy in her personal life. And she began to dance in the womb. Duncan writes in his autobiography: “Before my birth, my mother experienced a tragedy. She could not eat anything except oysters, which she washed down with ice-cold champagne. If they ask me when I started dancing, I answer - in the womb. Perhaps because for oysters and champagne."

The material was prepared by the online editors of based on information from open sources

Isadora Duncan - Yesenin, biography, American dancer, history, cause of death, children, love, creativity


  • Origin
  • Passion for dancing
  • Innovative Dancer
  • In Russia
  • Left views
  • Yesenin
  • Other men
  • Families and adopted children
  • At the end of life
  • Death
  • Duncan syndrome
  • Gypsy Prediction
  • Almost drowned
  • Duncan plane tree
  • Cultivated

Isadora Duncan was one of the greatest dancers and an innovator in her field. But in Russia, she is better known as the wife of Sergei Yesenin. However, at the dawn of the 20th century, a woman was much more popular in the world than a Russian poet. Read more about the celebrity and interesting facts from her life in the material 24SMI.


An American dancer originally from San Francisco was Irish by nationality. She was born in this city on May 27, 1877. Correctly, her name and surname are not pronounced the way Russian-speaking people are used to - Isadora Denkan.

The girl appeared in the family of a banker named Joseph. But soon the man left the family, so the mother of the future great dancer had to work hard to feed four children. However, at the same time, she managed to fill the house with music and instill in children a love of art. The family often played home performances based on ancient tragedies, and also read books.

Passion for dancing

Isadora Duncan became interested in dancing when she was 2 years old. And already at the age of 6 she organized her first “dance school” - in fact, she simply taught the neighboring children the pas that she had already mastered or invented on her own.

In her youth she worked as a dance teacher. This occupation absorbed her completely. At the age of 13, she left secondary school and devoted herself entirely to choreography, began to spend time studying music, philosophy and literature.

Innovative dancer

Isadora's family moved from San Francisco to Chicago in 1895. Here she began to work in the theater, and also performed in nightclubs. Even then, her ideas about dance were strikingly different from the generally accepted ones. The dancer was convinced that ballet is nothing more than a combination of mechanical movements of the body, and emotional experiences cannot be conveyed with their help. She, for her part, strove to show sensations in the dance.

Isadora first appeared on stage as an independent dancer in 1903. The exit took place in the city of Budapest. Then she and her family went on a pilgrimage to Greece.

A year later, together with her sister, she opened a dance school in the German city of Grunewald. She used ancient Greek plasticity in the dance, went out on the stage in chitons, without underwear and shoes. Isadora Duncan was called the great "sandal".

In her creative work she was among the first to use classical musical works by Wagner, Schubert and other composers. She approached the matter in her own way - she dreamed of creating a “new person”, so that the dance for him would become a kind of natural state akin to walking.

During her performances, she managed to achieve harmony between the spirit and the body. She showed the dance to the viewer in its purest form, as a whole canvas, built according to the principles of true art.

Duncan did not like the established rules; instead of the recognized canons of choreography, Isadora used the plastique and style invented by herself. As a result, it was thanks to her efforts in the dance art that a new direction was born - modern.

In Russia

In 1905, Isadora Duncan first arrived in Tsarist Russia. Two years later, she performed several times on stage in St. Petersburg. Then she made friends with Konstantin Stanislavsky. Later, in 1915, she took to the stage, presenting for the first time the 2nd movement of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Pathetic Symphony.

After the revolution, she again came to Russia, which had already become Soviet. She was invited by Leonid Krasin and Anatoly Lunacharsky. Then, in 1921, the woman became the organizer of the choreography school on Prechistenka. The institution was intended for the education of children of representatives of the working class. Up to 60 girls were soon accepted into the classes.

In the same year she performed for the first time in Moscow. It was at the Bolshoi Theater when the country was celebrating the 4th anniversary of the October Revolution. A year later, the American got into trouble because in a number of interviews she had the imprudence to speak unflatteringly about the Russian revolution and about local atheism, although her left-wing views were known.

Left views

Isadora Duncan considered herself an adherent of Marxist ideals. She was interested in everything revolutionary, which was reflected both in public views and in the approach to art.

Researchers of the biography claim that the artist had an open contempt for dancing with a capitalist approach. She did not like to look at this occupation through a monetary prism. They remember how she did not like to tour, being forced to conclude hundreds of contracts. It seemed to her that all this meaningless paraphernalia only distracts her from the main goal, which is to create true pure beauty.


In May 2022, exactly 100 years have passed since Isadora Duncan became the official wife of Sergei Yesenin. This happened when the dancer was in Soviet Russia from 1921 to 1924.

In the stories of contemporaries, evidence has been preserved of how these 2 people from the first minutes of their acquaintance began to behave like close, long-familiar people. And this is taking into account that the great Russian poet did not know English, and the American could hardly speak Russian. In addition, the age difference between them was 18 years. Nevertheless, only six months have passed since the first meeting, and the man and woman went to the registry office, where they registered the marriage.

The subsequent life together, alas, was not as rosy and romantic as one might expect. It is known that Isadora and Sergei Alexandrovich loved each other, but at the same time they created torment for one another. Evidence of all this has been preserved in the memoirs of friends, as well as in personal correspondence. Relations especially escalated after their joint trip to the United States, where it turned out that Duncan is a star, and her husband is unknown to anyone. This position deeply hurt the poet's pride. A little more time passed, and the couple nevertheless broke up.

Other men

Isadora had many affairs, but she was officially married only once. From the point of view of biographers, this happened because of her sharp rejection of traditional foundations regarding the family. All her life she remained a desirable woman in the eyes of men, but at the same time she was essentially lonely.

There was enough love and even passion in her life, but this did not give her happiness. Researchers suggest that her dislike for marriage originated in childhood - after all, her parents divorced and thereby set a not the best example for a girl. On the other hand, it is highly likely that the woman did not marry, since her chosen ones themselves were not ready for family relationships.

For the first time she thought of becoming a wife at the age of 18 - she was going to marry an admirer of Ivan Mirocki, a Pole by nationality. He was then 40 years old, he fell deeply in love with a girl. She was already ready to marry, but the truth was revealed - he is married.

In 1902, in the Hungarian capital, she met Oscar Berezhi. The local actor turned out to be her first man. The Hungarian made an offer to Isadora, then they even managed to get engaged. But just a week before the wedding, the artist received an offer to shoot and terminated the union, choosing a career.

Four years have passed and the dancer met Gordon Craig. The affair with this theater director also turned out to be unsuccessful - the man left her.

Then Paris Eugene Singer appeared in her life. This is her fan who helped the woman create a children's dance school. But this relationship ended in a quick parting. Finally, shortly before moving to Russia and meeting her future only husband, Sergei Yesenin, Isadora became interested in a sculptor from Italy. This story from his personal life also led nowhere.

Families and adopted children

Duncan's life was a terrible tragedy. While she was on tour in Paris, misfortune befell her two children. It's about daughter Didra from Craig and son Patrick from Singer.

While the kids were driving along the Seine embankment with their nanny, the driver lost control and the car fell into the water. The accident claimed the lives of everyone inside, including a 6-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy.

The actress suffered a nervous breakdown. It was rumored that after that she even got a little touched by her mind - she said that she periodically talks with dead children, then she saw visions, then voices were heard.

The dancer tried to fill the void in her soul - she gave birth to another child from the Italian sculptor mentioned above. However, this time there was a misfortune: the newborn baby lived for several days and died. But the grief-stricken woman still tried to live on.

She opened new dance schools, brought up over 40 children as her own. In addition, she adopted 6 girls. One of them - Irma - became an adopted daughter at the behest of her own mother. She was from the poor, she herself brought an 8-year-old girl to Isadora when she recruited students for a dance school in Germany.

Irma began to constantly accompany Duncan on tours, among other things she went to Moscow with her. As a result, she continued the work of her adoptive mother. When Isadora returned to Europe, the girl remained in Russia, where she began to lead the local dance school. Subsequently, she married journalist Ilya Shneider. Nothing is known about the fate of the remaining 5 girls.

Read alsoLeonardo da Vinci - facts and myths about the famous Florentine

At the end of his life

In recent years, the famous dancer has rarely performed. She accumulated a lot of debts, she periodically became the heroine of high-profile scandals, became known for her love of drinking, her name surfaced in a number of intimate stories.

Dancing career was on the wane, but Isadora was known all over the Mediterranean and Paris. First of all, because she had dozens of unpaid bills in luxury hotels and restaurants.


Sergei Yesenin was found dead in 1925, and less than 2 years later the American woman was gone. Isadora Duncan died due to a ridiculous tragic accident. In 1927, she decided to take a car ride in Nice. She got into the car with her famous scarf around her neck, which was her invariable attribute on stage.

It so happened that the end of this toilet element got stuck in the axle of the rear wheel of the car. When the car started moving, he crushed his neck, which caused death.

The great "sandal" was buried after cremation in a columbarium in Paris, in the Père Lachaise cemetery, next to her children. At the funeral of the artist, a wreath was sent, among other things, from the Soviet government.

Duncan Syndrome

The strange tragic death of a dancer became the subject of heated discussion in the then newspapers. But, besides this, she went down in history because of her absurdity.

The fact is that today the so-called "Isadora Duncan syndrome" is known in common parlance. He is remembered when another tragic death of a person occurs due to an injury caused by a tie entangled in the mechanisms.

Gypsy woman's fortune telling

There is a legend that Isadora turned to a gypsy woman in her youth with a request to predict her fate. After all, the girl dreamed of a stage, she wanted to become famous, to achieve world success.

The fortune teller has confirmed that Duncan is going to be world famous. But at the same time she warned that in return she would receive neither love nor happiness. And all because a terrible curse hangs over her family. The gypsy prophesied that Isadora would have to lose loved ones one by one, and then she herself would die alone. Whether this episode actually happened or not, now no one will know. But everything that is said in the myth came true.

Nearly drowned

Isadora Duncan fell under a series of terrible blows of fate. But at the same time, a story happened in her life when she mysteriously escaped death.

The fact is that due to lack of money, the celebrity could not get on the transatlantic liner called the Lusitania as a passenger. But this is the same ship that sank off the coast of Ireland within a few minutes after a torpedo attack from a German submarine.

Duncan plane tree

In Yalta, on the embankment, huge plane trees grow. It attracts attention in itself, as it is the largest tree among the surrounding ones. But it is also interesting because a romantic legend is associated with it, in which the name of Isadora Duncan appears.

It is said that it was in the shade of this plane tree that once a meeting took place between people in love - Yesenin and Duncan. However, the statement is regularly criticized. Biographers and historians say that famous people, although they visited these places, were not together, but at different times. Accordingly, there can be no question of any date.

But be that as it may, under the spreading crown you can always see crowds of tourists listening to the fascinating story of another guide.

In culture

Isadora Duncan forever changed the idea of ​​classical dance, brought a lot of new things to this art form and is considered a recognized innovator in choreography. But, besides this, her image surfaced in other types of creativity.

For example, in the literature her name is mentioned by Mikhail Bulgakov in The Heart of a Dog in the context that even she does not have as many rooms in Moscow as Professor Preobrazhensky. In addition, another contemporary of hers, Anatoly Mariengof, has the image of a dancer in "A Novel Without Lies."

In cinema, the American was talked about in Ken Russell's 1966 film Isadora Duncan, the World's Greatest Dancer. In Russian cinema, she appears in the serial film "Yesenin", released in 2005.

In music, for example, the poet Mikhail Tanich wrote about it, whose poems formed the basis of the song "Isadora" from Alexander Malinin's repertoire.

Read alsoPortrait of a man in love with Russia - Sergei Yesenin: facts and myths about the most popular poet of the Silver Age

Finally, a video chronicle has been preserved in which Yesenin and Duncan are captured in the USA.

Learn more