Statement addressing systemic racism

From the Isadora Duncan International Symposium and the Isadora Duncan Archive:

As organizations dedicated to preserving and sharing the legacy of early 20th century dance artist Isadora Duncan, we are compelled to address Duncan’s history of racism and to acknowledge Duncan dance as a practice rooted in a white European cultural aesthetic. As contemporary dance artists, educators, and scholars, we commit to interrogating whiteness in Duncan dance and we commit to examining how we have been complicit in centering whiteness through our unexamined preservation and dissemination of Duncan’s work. While many Duncan dancers actively promote inclusive casting policies, we recognize that this is not enough, and we commit to deeper inquiry into our artistic heritage so that we can create a future for this work that aligns with Duncan’s vision for dance as a human right, while acknowledging her historical complexity and limitations.

The Isadora Duncan Archive, dedicated to the preservation of Duncan’s repertory and housing a directory of active dancers and educators, will advocate for critical perspective on Duncan’s work and will provide dancers and educators with access to resources to better understand the pervasiveness of racism in early modern dance. www.isadoraduncanarchive.org

The Isadora Duncan International Symposium, which hosts biennial conferences on Duncan dance, will organize virtual forums to educate our community about anti-racism practices and to specifically interrogate how whiteness manifests in Duncan dance. If you are interested in joining these conversations, please email info@duncansymposium.com for details. www.duncansymposium.com


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