In the early years of the twentieth century, American dancer Isadora Duncan broke with the conventions of traditional ballet to become one of the originators of a new dance form focused on free, expressive movement. Featured in this unit is Dance of the Furies, drawn from Greek mythology, in which the Furies represent primeval beings – avengers of crime, especially crimes against the ties of kinship. Today, the American Repertory Dance Company has a mission to sustain the modern dance legacy through research, reconstruction and performance of timeless choreography such as this piece. Lessons take students through experiences that explore qualities of heavy and light, designing an original character based on one or more qualities of the Furies, and introducing the Orpheus myth from Greek Mythology, which leads to a pantomime, or dance, based on Orpheus’ journey to the Underworld. This unit is grounded in the themes of Transformation and The Power of Nature.
Isadora Duncan Artsource Unit
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Watch video excerpts from Dance of the Furies:
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Video excerpt courtesy of the Los Angeles Dance Foundation and Risa Steinberg.
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