This collection comprises dance
programs and some ephemera documenting Isadora Duncan and her international performances
from 1900 to 1920. Materials in this collection are in Dutch, English, French, and German.
Also included are programs for performances by her students, the Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco on May 27, 1878. She was a pioneer of "free dance"
-- the theory that dance was the expression of an inner urge or impulse and reflected the
rhythms of nature -- as opposed to the formal dance form of ballet. Her revolutionary ideas
on dance were not well accepted in America, and Duncan left for Europe in 1899, where she
enjoyed greater success. Her first appearances were from 1900 to 1902 in Paris, Budapest,
Vienna, Munich, and Berlin. In 1904 she founded her own school. In 1905 Duncan appeared in
Russia for the first time, where she was much admired by advocates of reform of the ballet.
In 1925 Duncan moved to France, where she began her autobiography, My Life, and gave
occasional performances. She gave her last recital in Paris in July 1927. In Nice, France,
on September 14, 1927, Duncan was killed in a car accident. Lessons in the Duncan dance
technique continued after her death, and were taught by Irma Duncan (one of Isadora's
adopted daughters) and several of her other pupils, who were also known as the Isadora
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by
the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish,
please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.