> People > Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan (1877–1927)
DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER
After many years of planning, the Künstlerhaus at Lenbachplatz was ceremoniously inaugurated in 1900. Two years later, the then 25-year-old American “barefoot dancer” Isadora Duncan gave her first guest performance in Germany here. Her Hungarian impresario Alexander Groß tried to arrange performances for her at the Künstlerhaus, but this initially turned out to be not as easy as he had hoped. (B.O.)
Isadora Duncan in costume for “Orpheus” (C.W. Gluck) | photo: Atelier Elvira, Munich | ca. 1903/04 | with handwritten dedication by Isadora Duncan | © Deutsches Theatermuseum, inv. no. II 15111
Isadora Duncan visited the “prince of painters” Franz von Stuck in his villa in Prinzregentenstraße, where she performed her dances for him in his studio. Franz von Stuck was persuaded and agreed to allow her to perform in the Künstlerhaus. Her programme “Dance Idylls” premiered in the ballroom there on 26 August. This performance opened the doors to “free” dance at the Künstlerhaus, where she subsequently returned several times, for example, with a guest performance accompanied by a Greek boys’ choir at the New Munich Playhouse in 1904, with her controversial Beethoven Evening at the Kaimsaal, and with the waltz and Gluck evening at the Volkstheater in 1906. She and her sister Elizabeth founded several dance schools, the first in Berlin Grunewald in 1904. Isadora Duncan’s eventful life, the tragic death of her two children in 1913, the suicide of the Russian poet Sergei Yesenin (1895-1925), whom she had married in 1923, and her fatal car accident in Nice gave rise to many publications and film adaptations. Isadora Duncan’s legacy is preserved and perpetuated around the world by numerous schools, one of which is the Elizabeth Duncan School in Munich.