Isadora Duncan International Symposium 2013
Schedule of Events

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Sunday, 12:45-2:15pm
“Duncan’s Core Threaded into Contemporary Work” Workshop/Master Class by Beth Jucovy
How Duncan dance can be incorporated into contemporary classes and into choreography? Predicated on the belief that there is a strong need and strong place for Duncan's view of the art of dance in the contemporary dance world, this workshop and master class will demonstrate ways in which the technique is incorporated in both classical and contemporary dance classes. The session will include a section of a piece of Jucovy’s own choreography which uses many aspects of the technique and demonstrates how Duncan dance can inform a contemporary dance work. Lastly, the workshop help participants to explore ways in which to integrate Duncan concepts, technique and aesthetics into their own dance traditions. Some of these concepts include movement coming from the center and radiating outwards, the sensitivity to the nuances of the music, the idea of that every movement has meaning and the harmony of the entire body while moving.

Sunday, 12:45-2:15pm
"The Essential Isadora: Finding the Inherent Characteristics of Isadora's Technique" Presentation by Valerie Durham with Group Discussion
This presentation will explore the integral qualities of the Isadora Duncan technique and philosophy of dance based on Valerie Durham's 2012 thesis project, In|And|Of|Throughat the University of Maryland. Through ancient artwork from various world cultures, housed at the Freer/Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian, the presentation will trace the ways in which these integral qualities in technique and philosophy can be applied to diverse aesthetic forms. The presentation will conclude with a group discussion of the essential qualities valued by the Duncan practitioners present.

Sunday, 2:30-4pm
“I Always Dance the Chorus” Workshop/Master Class by Alice Bloch
Isadora’s statement, “When I have danced I have tried always to be the Chorus…I have never once danced a solo” (Art of the Dance, p 96), infuses her technique and pedagogy with a democratic sensibility that radically opposed the dance of her day. Isadora’s practice of experiencing dance as communal imbues her movement and shaped how it is taught. This workshop begins with a discussion of Duncan’s philosophy and how it shaped her educational theories and technique as it has come down to us today. Participants then learn characteristic movements like the “Universe,” and explore how her use of the solar plexus, gravity, wave forms, and counterbalance contributes to her technique’s warm-heartedness. These experiences will be compared to movements and classroom structures from other dance styles, such as ballet port de bras and Limon swings. Finally, participants will learn group patterns which exemplify the democratic essence of Duncan’s dance.

Sunday, 2:30-4pm
"Exploring the Role of the Solar Plexus in Duncan Dance" Workshop/Master Class by Laura Pravitz

The solar plexus operates as central and key to our Duncan Dance. It unites our movement and serves as station master, transmitting, regulating and managing  the cycle of our expression and self-renewal. It is also our hearth and home, where we return to take stock, stoke our fire and replenish. Our moods, imaginings, and intentions radiate from and return there, giving to our dance its unique quality of continuity and fecundity. The solar plexus also grows the ineffable quality of unification that we see and feel in Duncan dancing through a play between shadow and light. This movement workshop will explore the teaching of Isadora’s wonderful discovery, seeking to unpack and unravel its mystery and relevance through the lens of Laban Movement Analysis, the Dionysian, and natural form.

Sunday, 4:15-5:45pm
“Teaching Isadora’s Art: Best Practices from Creativity and Experience” Duncan Dance Education Panel. Moderated by Valerie Durham with Panelists: Alice Bloch, Beth Jucovy, Janaea Rose Lyn, Adrienne Ramm, Andrea Seidel
This panel discussion will explore the roots and essential aspects of Duncan Dance education, as well as the development of effective practices, stemming from teachers’ experience and creativity, in teaching Duncan technique to children and adults.

Sunday, 7-8:30pm
– Invoking 
the Dancer of the Future. Duncan
 Dance as Sacred 
 Ceremony. Workshop/Master Class by Paola Blanton
This is a workshop featuring movement sequences from the Duncan repertory, arranged as a ceremony invoking the Dancer of the Future. The ceremony’s story is the journey of Modern Woman and her search for higher meaning. Paying homage to our Teacher, Isadora Duncan, we contact her wisdom through practicing her movements and philosophy. But at the same time, we reach for her vision, the Dancer of the Future – the ultimate merging of soul, mind, and body. We continue her story through consciously communing with the Dancer of the Future, seeking to bring Her presence among us and interpreting what that may mean to us, to our communities, to the world, and to the Universe. There is an open‐ended narrative that guides the experience, with room for improvisation and personal interpretation.

Sunday, 7-8:30pm
“Contemporary Duncan” Workshop/Master Class by Meg Brooker and Julia Pond
Training in Duncan’s classical modern dance technique and studying her repertory of dance gems is an invaluable experience for any student of modern dance. Duncan’s dance art is honored as a historic movement practice. Yet, for many, the interest stops there—Duncan’s repertory has a reputation for being valued as historical dance artifact. But where does that leave those of us who practice and perform her work? How does Duncan’s classical modern dance technique translate into a landscape of contemporary modern dance? In our Contemporary Duncan workshop, we will explore the following questions: Where does the impulse to expression originate and what are its essential elements in Duncan technique? What if you take away the Greek shapes and move with just solar plexus? Can Duncan's movement vocabulary be adapted and modernized? The class will begin with Julia Pond teaching a structured Duncan technique for the 21st century. Meg will approach the work improvisationally. Both seek a purity of intention and expression, a way to express the Duncan technique for our times.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, 7:30-8:45am
“Body Conditioning for Barefoot Dancers” Master Class by Jennifer Sprowl
This 75-minute lecture/practical presentation will educate the dancer in specific exercises for strength development, stability, flexibility and injury prevention. The material stems from Physical Therapy and Active-Isolated Stretching/Strengthening (AI). The focus will be on feet, ankles, and calves as well as the back, quadriceps and hips.

Monday, 9-10:30am
"Dancing Duncan: The Art and Soul of Isadora in the 21st Century" Workshop/Master Class by Andrea Seidel
The goal of these presentation is to explain and demonstrate methodologies for the contemporary teaching of Duncan technique and repertory. While the methods seek to maintain the integrity of the style as transmitted through subsequent generations over the last 100 years, they also explore and integrate 21st strategies that ultimately create luminous, radiant performances that resonate with enhanced relevance for contemporary dancers and audiences. The methodology to be presented emphasizes the cultivation of a clear sense of the authentic, contemporary dancing Self through the development of emotional integrity, spiritual presence, self-awareness, and deep mindfulness. These qualities are taught within the historical/social/narrative context of each specific dance and integrated with improvisational exercises that foster musicality, dramatic ability, and other essential technical and performance skills relevant to Duncan dance. The methodology draws deeply on “psycho-spiritual” techniques that access the deeper layers of the psyche and the mind/body connection so integral to creating authenticity in Duncan performance. The presentation also includes strategies for creating a nurturing dancing environment and sense of community that transcends the often prevalent sense of competition, self-negation, and conflict that undermines the development of a true sense of ensemble. The presentation includes a narrative lecture, DVD clips, and a workshop component that will directly demonstrate the instructional principles and techniques. The presenter draws upon over thirty years teaching Duncan dance as a company artistic director, as well as upon 22 years of teaching in a variety of discrete academic departments and disciplines.

Monday, 9-10:30am
"Why Are You Dancing? Exploring Intention as a Foundational Concept of the Duncan Dance" Workshop/Master Class by Janaea Rose Lyn
This dance-based class will focus on Duncan’s philosophy, technique and movement vocabulary as a teaching tool for enhancing dynamic quality and expressivity in contemporary dancers of all styles. It will help educators connect the relevance of Duncan work to other dance forms through its foundational application of intention, directly informing the clarity of the resulting movements and enhancing the presence and power of the performer.

Monday, 10:45am-12:15pm
"The Healing Art of Isadora's Dance: Therapeutic Modalities in Duncan Dance" Moderated by Jennifer Sprowl with Panelists: Pattee Russell Curry, Marybeth Hraniotis, Dicki Johnson Macy, Laura Pravitz
This panel discussion will engage in an indepth discussion concerning the psychological, physiological & musculoskeletal facilitation in healing mind/body for Duncan dancers. Additionally, panelists will share their experiences and knowledge of Duncan Dance have been beneficial, instrumental or informative in work in Dance Therapy and other therapeutic modalities.

Monday, 1:30-3pm
“Musicality and the Line” Workshop/Master Class by Lori Belilove
This master class will focus on the spirit and the clarity of the classwork, specifically through the internal purity of intention to discover the exact line of the body within the technique. Additionally, the class will focus on the use of musicality within the technique and choreography. Starting with an overview about Duncan’s work, what is known and unknown, followed by a demonstration of a class utilizing the lesson plan booklets and examples of the Duncan plie, barre work, porte de bras, use of the torso, and the locomotion steps found in the Duncan waltz, polka, skips and flying jumps, followed by a performance one or two of her dances, the class will close with a dialogue on the challenges of teaching Isadora Duncan dance to today’s youth.

Monday, 1:30-3pm
"Sun Dancer: Duncan Dance as Sacred Dance" Presentation by Pattee Russell-Curry
This presentation will begin with a discussion of Russell-Curry's entry into Duncan Dance through a liturgical dance troupe that was informed by Duncan Dance through the lineage of West Coast Duncan dancers influenced by dancers at The Temple of Wings in Berkeley, Mignon Garland, Lori Belilove and  others.  Duncan Dance lends itself beautifully to the ecstatic lift of the ribcage, up into the heavens, eliciting a spiritual experience of ecstasy. The Sun Dancers was a liturgical Sacred Dance Troupe based in Tiburon, Marin County, CA during the 1980's.  They danced at the Community Congregational Church (CCC) in an alternative open space with art all around, or outside on their lawn overlooking the Sausalito harbor.  The troupe performed environmental pieces in community venues and participated in the Harmonic Convergence observed on Mt. Tamalapais.  Dancers were pictured in Newsweek Year in Pictures. Annah McCluskey, Director, was formerly with the San Francisco Dionysian Dancers.  Her beautiful Duncan essence informed, guided, and inspired unique, original choreographies crafted for worship meditation, and honoring the earth.  Her Goddess Series was a women's healing retreat using Duncan Dance in self-discovery.

Monday, 3:15-4:45pm
"The Dance of the Future: New Visions for Duncan-based Performance". New Choreography and Theater Panel Discussion, moderated by Cynthia Word with Panelists: Jeanne Bresciani, Catherine Gallant, Rachel Herzog, Julia Pond, Elyssa Rosenberg
In this panel discussion, we will begin with a short statement from each of the panel participants regarding how they are attempting to infuse the Duncan technique and philosophy into contemporary choreography.   The moderator will then ask the panelists specific questions to which they can respond and react.  Lastly we will invite the audience to provide questions/comments for the panelists.

Monday, 5-6pm
“Issues of the Field” General Session Discussion, Moderated by Peter Di Muro
A general discussion of important challenges facing the field of Duncan Dance, such as the responsibility of passing on dances and the technique, the process and accessibility of archival material, the reputation and relevancy of the Duncan technique within the larger dance community, the outreach to other dance genres with similar philosophic and practical approaches, as well as the inclusion of men into the Duncan community. Moderated by Peter Di Muro, this group discussion hopes to identify challenges, share ideas and experiences, work toward solutions, establish best practices, and broaden the accessibility and success of Duncan Dance as a dance form.

Monday, 7:30-9pm
"Dances by Isadora: Technique to Choreography" Workshop Followed by Choreography Showing by Catherine Gallant
This session includes a 45-minute participatory workshop led by Catherine Gallant and Loretta Thomas followed by a 45-minute presentation of new stagings from the repertoire of Isadora Duncan and recent choreography by artistic director Catherine Gallant. Through introductory exercises and improvisation we will explore our dancing through inquiry. What is Duncan technique? How does the Duncan technique support other movement vocabularies? What innovations support development of the technique for contemporary students and choreographers? Using thematic and kinesthetic content of an original work of Duncan, the first half of our presentation will culminate in a group dance making experience. Time will be allocated for analysis and discussion. The second half of the session is a presentation by of new stagings of selected Duncan repertoire along with recent contemporary works by choreographer, Catherine Gallant.

Monday, 9-9:30pm
Memorial Tribute to Sylvia Gold

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Tuesday, 7:30-8:45am
“The Alchemy of Dance: Self-Care for Dancers” Workshop by Marybeth Hraniotis
This interactive, experiential and informative workshop will explore the ways in which dancer/athletes can train, hone, and care for themselves. Dancers at any age are at risk for injuries due to long rehearsal hours, performance schedules and the normal wear and tear from the technical discipline/genre that they are attuned to. In this workshop we will discuss techniques and ways which support recuperative work to maintain strength and flexibility “from the inside out” thus gaining an experience of the dancer to connect back to the core still point of neutral. The methods we will be accessing are The Alexander Technique and GeoSpatial™.

Tuesday, 9-10:30am
“Duncan Meets Dalcroze: Together Again!” Workshop by Monica Dale
There’s no clear evidence that Isadora Duncan and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze ever met, although they share much commonality. They were contemporaries in Europe; their stated philosophies overlap; their visual aesthetic was similar, right down to the togas; and they both sensed deeply the connection of movement and music. But while Duncan was a dancer with an innate sense of music, Jaques-Dalcroze was a musician translating music to movement, and vice-versa. If only they had connected in person! In this workshop, we’ll create a new connection, and expand possibilities with a view toward the modernism that followed Duncan and Dalcroze.

Tuesday, 9-10:30am
"Moving Beyond Duncan with Duncan: Dance in Relation to Theater Now" Presentation by Word Dance Theater (Cynthia Word and Ingrid Zimmer)
Using a combination of video footage and commentary Cynthia Word and Ingrid Zimmer will discuss Word Dance Theater’s model for incorporating dance, story, and music into multi-media theatrical experiences that present Duncan’s original dances as well as new Duncan-inspired choreography in contexts that illuminate the dances in new ways and introduce Duncan to new audiences. Presentation will include time for discussion between audience and presenters.

Tuesday, 10:45-12:15pm
“Singing the Steps: Remembering Anita Zahn’s Duncan Pedagogy for Children” Workshop/Master Class by Dicki Johnson Macy
This workshop will help to bring to our Duncan attention one of the heritage’s unsung and devoted heroes: Anita Zahn, one of the German students of Isadora and Elizabeth Duncan, established the American branch of the Elizabeth Duncan School in New York in 1924. Hortense Kooluris, and later, Jeanne Bresciani and Dicki Johnson Macy were among her many students. Elizabeth was considered to have concretized the Duncan pedagogy for children and maintained Isadora’s school in her absence. Anita carried with her that pedagogy. Dicki has developed a curriculum based on Anita’s teaching for children aged 2 years to young adult. She has continued to teach children of all ages, both able and disabled for 25 years. Dicki has also adapted the Duncan work to address the needs of children and adults who have been physically, emotionally, and environmentally violated. Her work is internationally recognized. In this workshop she will share, via experiential, didactic, and film presentation a representation of this children’s curriculum.

"Renaissance of a Legacy" Workshop/Master Class with Adrienne Ramm
The Dancer of the Future is one who discovers one’s inherent harmony and can express the shared essence of all humanity. Having the unique fortune to have trained exclusively in the Duncan legacy her entire life by her mentors Julia Levien, Anna Duncan, and Hortense Kooluris, this workshop will focus on demonstrating the pure style and classical line of Isadora’s timeless Art. With music and images being the inspiration, classroom exercises, mythological and archetypical explorations will provide participants a wonderful connection of mind, body, and spirit. Focus will be on movement originating from the solar plexus and radiating upward and outward. The workshop may be followed with a showing of rare video footage of Anna Duncan teaching young students including this presenter, and clips from memorial tributes to Julia Levien and Hortense Kooluris, “Celebrating a Legacy" during the following lunch break.

Tuesday, 1:30-3:30pm
“Understanding Isadora Through the Past” Historical Research Joint Session
Ingrid Zimmer (moderator)

• Historical Archival Video from Hortense Kooluris and Julia Levien/Lori Belilove
• "Moving in Context: Duncan Contemporaries Florence Noyes & Stephanie Rudneeva"/Meg Brooker
• “La Belle Epoch”/Pamela de Fina
• “A Postcard from Paris: Artist in Residence at the Akademia Raymond Duncan”/Janaea Rose Lyn
• Historical Archival Video and Teaching Technique from Anna Duncan, Hortense Kooluris, and Julia Levien/Adrienne Ramm
• “Unpublished Memoirs of Isadora Duncan from Forgotten Soviet Writer Fabin Garin” /Elena Yushkova

This joint session offers multiple presentations from a range of perspectives to address Isadora Duncan’s life and work through archival materials and scholarly research.

Tuesday, 3:30-5:30pm
"Diaghilev & The Ballets Russes: When Art Danced with Music" Exhibition and Tour at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
This tour of the beautiful exhibit, featuring costumes, artwork, scenery, video footage, props and much more, explores the dynamic and impressive Ballets Russes dance company, which Isadora Duncan helped to inspire after her first tour of Russia in 1904. Her performances there launched the dance revolution by the likes of Michel Fokine, Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Njinsky and many others. We will receive a private guided tour of the exhibit by National Gallery lecturer David Gariff. The group will travel via Metro together for a tour of the exhibition, and return for the conclusing session at 5:30pm. 

Tuesday, 3:45-5:15pm
“Isadora and the Eternal Ideal in Art” Workshop/Master Class by Jeanne Bresciani
“To me there is no past or future in art. If a work of art cannot live always in the present it must not be considered at all. The art of the Greeks, of the Egyptians, of the great painters who lived in other times, is not an art of the past, perhaps it is more alive today than it ever was.”—Pablo Picasso 1923
The above resounds the influence of Isadora Duncan as dynamic catalyst on the arts and artists of her time, and ever after, while echoing the dancer’s famous statement from 1902. In it, Duncan compared, to our ceaseless inspiration – ‘the dancer of the future’ to the Egyptian, the Greek and the Italian, at the same time that she called for the ‘highest intelligence in the freest body’. Like Duncan, Picasso had inveighed upon both art and culture to wield the power and the portent of eternal forms and remake how people saw, heard and touched the world they lived in. But Duncan had come first – and as if thrice born – seemed to have walked across Egypt’s rolling sands, upon Attica’s ancient threshing floors, through the canvases of Botticelli, into present time. Today we meet to marvel at these forms, and in this master class together, we will enact Duncan technique, studies and choreographies in order to be part of these shining exploits. We will seek to body forth the ideals, values and principles that dwell within them and those that originally brought them to bear. We will find the courage and creativity to grasp, interpret and express their eternal energies that include each one of us in their sweep. We will engage them not as dead copies or historical recreations, not as ballet modifications or Limon infusions - but as our own living treasures in direct descent. So as we meet in our nation’s capital for the first IDIS, may we honor the great ones who have come before us and keep our eye on the constantly unchanging, to tap the ‘secret, middle place’ of Duncan’s art for a living dialogue between soul and world.

Tuesday, 3:45-5:15pm
"A Conversation Space"
Participants and presenters will have the opportunity to meet, network, talk, explore possible collaborations, and follow-up on session discussions and experiences.

Tuesday, 5:30-6:30pm
“In Honor of Our Teachers” Concluding Session

Tuesday, 7:00pm
Celebratory Reception Gathering
Fortuny Room, Lombardy Hotel, 2019 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington DC
Light Refreshments and Hors d'Oeuvres
$10 contribution per person is requested
RSVP by Thursday, June 13 via email:
Underwritten in part by the Bernstein Foundation and the Isadora Duncan International Symposium