Isadora Duncan’s revolutionary performances in Soviet Russia / USSR
E. V. Yushkova
Five College Women’s Studies Research Center (USA, Hampshire)
Keywords: Isadora Duncan, “Russian Revolutionary Songs”, “Dubinushka”, “Varshavianka”, performance art
Abstract: The article is devoted to the series of Russian revolutionary songs which the American dancer Isadora Duncan used as a musical basis for her choreographic works while in the USSR. The series included such popular songs as “Dubinushka”, “Varshavianka”, and others. The author also considers the pre-history of this cycle — Duncan’s dance “revolution” in the beginning of the 20th century, and revolutionary motifs in her choreography of the 1910s. Another aspect of the American dancer’s creativity is her intuitive aspiration to the genre of performance, not conceptualized at that time, which intensified in the context of the Russian revolution and experimental art of the first post-revolutionary years. The article analyses some examples of Duncan’s performances, which could be defined in terms of contemporary performative practices — immersive, participatory or site-specific. This despite the fact that Isadora usually worked within the framework of stage traditions of the 19th century: she had a program that consisted of two acts accompanied by an orchestra or a pianist, and meticulously structured her choreography. Nevertheless, the author focuses on Duncan’s innovations, which have not been reflected upon, and shows how Isadora tried to reach beyond the stage and to involve the audience in an art event, blurring distinctions between artist and audience, art and life.
To cite this article: Yushkova, E. V. (2022). Isadora Duncan’s revolutionary performances in Soviet Russia / USSR. Shagi/Steps, 8(3), 51–84. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-3-52-84.