Updated: Dec 30, 2020



The mantle of Isadora Duncan, whose profound and enduring influence as a dancer in the early twentieth century, has been passed on to her students (the “Isadorables”) and their students, including Barbara Kane, who in collaboration with Viviana Durante has gifted London audiences with Isadora Now at the Barbican. Viviana Durante sums up Isadora’s legacy: “She was the pioneer of contemporary dance, she started the whole thing.”

Viviana Durante Company,Isadora Now, Dance of the Furies, image credit DavidScheinmann

The Viviana Durante Company presents a triple bill that weaves the Isadora thread from her own realisations to a present-day homage. Isadora Now takes us from Duncan’s Dance of the Furies 1911 and Frederick Ashton’s Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan c1970 (with the excellent Anna Geniushene on piano) to Unda, choreographed by Joy Alpuerto Ritter accompanied by the magnificent Lih Qun Wong on a red cello.

“Isadora was very in touch with nature. She saw her dancing as recovering the natural principles of motion, which is why Greek culture fascinated her. Movements come from within, not from the outside: an expression of thought is portrayed through physical movement. She wasn’t afraid of gravity.” Durante explains.

Viviana Durante Co., Isadora Now, Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan, Begoña Cao

The exemplary and beguiling dancers of Durante’s company bring a range of techniques which express this free spirit and take it further. Ritter, for example, trained in ballet, jazz as well as Philippine and Polynesian folk dance. And solo performer, Begona Cao, trained at the Arts Educational School and London Royal Ballet and was a principle ballerina at the English National Ballet. Together with Christina Cecchini, Nikita Goile, Charmene Pang and Serena Zaccagnini, they present a sublime evening and a worthy tribute to Isadora Duncan. Let’s hope that next time Viviana Durante, who alas was suffering an injury, is able to join the mesmerising “Isadorables” on stage.

Unda, Begoña Caoand & Christina Cecchini

Barbican Centre Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS


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