Isadora Duncan - Special English Audiobook

     Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan

  Hello. I'm Elizabeth Lickiss.
   Hello. I'm Elizabeth Lickiss.
  And I'm Marina Santee.
   And I'm Marina Santee.
  Welcome to Spotlight.
   Welcome to Spotlight.
  This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting.
   This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting.
  It is easier for people to understand,
   It is easier for people to understand,
  no matter where in the world they live.
   no matter where in the world they live.
  Imagine a dancer.
   Imagine a dancer.
  The dancer prays and studies.
   The dancer prays and studies.
  She understands that her body
   She understands that her body
  is like a picture of her spirit.
   is like a picture of her spirit.
  She communicates through movement
   She communicates through movement
  something greater than herself.
   something greater than herself.
  She expresses something of a world that is spiritual,
   She expresses something of a world that is spiritual,
  not worldly.
   not worldly.
  This is the true dancer.
   This is the true dancer.
  These are the words of dancer, Isadora Duncan.
   These are the words of dancer, Isadora Duncan.
  People consider her to be the mother
   People consider her to be the mother
  of what is called the contemporary
   of what is called the contemporary
  or modern dance movement.
   or modern dance movement.
  Today's Spotlight programme
   Today's Spotlight programme
  takes us into the world of dance.
   takes us into the world of dance.
  We look at the teachings
   We look at the teachings
  and writings of Isadora Duncan.
   and writings of Isadora Duncan.
  Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco, America.
   Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco, America.
  The year was 1878.
   The year was 1878.
  Her father, Joseph, was a writer.
   Her father, Joseph, was a writer.
  Her mother was a music teacher.
   Her mother was a music teacher.
  Isadora spent much of her early life
   Isadora spent much of her early life
  surrounded by music, books and art.
   surrounded by music, books and art.
  The young Isadora
   The young Isadora
  spent many hours dancing and singing.
   spent many hours dancing and singing.
  She put on shows for her parents.
   She put on shows for her parents.
  It was a happy time.
   It was a happy time.
  But then Isadora's father left her family.
   But then Isadora's father left her family.
  He went away.
   He went away.
  Isadora was just six years old.
   Isadora was just six years old.
  He did not send them any money.
   He did not send them any money.
  Isadora never met her father again.
   Isadora never met her father again.
  Her mother provided everything for their family.
   Her mother provided everything for their family.
  She could see that the young Isadora had a skill for dancing.
   She could see that the young Isadora had a skill for dancing.
  So she decided to train Isadora as a ballet dancer.
   So she decided to train Isadora as a ballet dancer.
  The training was very hard work.
   The training was very hard work.
  Isadora worked for many years to make her ballet perfect.
   Isadora worked for many years to make her ballet perfect.
  Ballet dancers have to learn many difficult set moves.
   Ballet dancers have to learn many difficult set moves.
  Isadora needed to develop strong legs.
   Isadora needed to develop strong legs.
  She had to learn to dance on the end point of her toes.
   She had to learn to dance on the end point of her toes.
  Dancing 'on points' is an important skill for all ballet dancers,
   Dancing 'on points' is an important skill for all ballet dancers,
  especially women.
   especially women.
  It means that dancers can almost appear to float through the air.
   It means that dancers can almost appear to float through the air.
  It is very beautiful to look at.
   It is very beautiful to look at.
  Ballet shows are very popular.
   Ballet shows are very popular.
  But many ballet dancers
   But many ballet dancers
  suffer from injury during their training.
   suffer from injury during their training.
  Ballet puts the body under great pressure.
   Ballet puts the body under great pressure.
  Dancing 'on points'
   Dancing 'on points'
  can damage dancers' feet, legs and backbones.
   can damage dancers' feet, legs and backbones.
  But this did not happen to Isadora.
   But this did not happen to Isadora.
  Her training went well.
   Her training went well.
  She was a good ballet dancer.
   She was a good ballet dancer.
  She got a job with The Daly Ballet Company.
   She got a job with The Daly Ballet Company.
  In 1896, Isadora gave her first official performance.
   In 1896, Isadora gave her first official performance.
  Over the following years
   Over the following years
  Isadora travelled with the Daly Company.
   Isadora travelled with the Daly Company.
  They performed in many countries across Europe.
   They performed in many countries across Europe.
  But, in the year 1900,
   But, in the year 1900,
  a visit to France changed Isadora's life.
   a visit to France changed Isadora's life.
  Isadora met with her mother
   Isadora met with her mother
  and her brother Raymond in Paris.
   and her brother Raymond in Paris.
  They went on a trip to the Louvre building.
   They went on a trip to the Louvre building.
  The Louvre had a wonderful collection of art from ancient Greece.
   The Louvre had a wonderful collection of art from ancient Greece.
  Isadora had always been interested in Greek art.
   Isadora had always been interested in Greek art.
  She had read ancient Greek stories as a child.
   She had read ancient Greek stories as a child.
  The history of ancient Greece became important to her.
   The history of ancient Greece became important to her.
  She decided to study everything she could about ancient Greece.
   She decided to study everything she could about ancient Greece.
  Her studies began to influence her thinking about dance.
   Her studies began to influence her thinking about dance.
  She believed that the ancient Greeks demonstrated a form of dance
   She believed that the ancient Greeks demonstrated a form of dance
  that was both pure and special.
   that was both pure and special.
  In 1903 Isadora made her famous speech called,
   In 1903 Isadora made her famous speech called,
  'The Dance of the Future'.
   'The Dance of the Future'.
  She was speaking to many of the great experts on dance.
   She was speaking to many of the great experts on dance.
  In her speech Isadora argued that the dance of the future
   In her speech Isadora argued that the dance of the future
  would be similar to that of the ancient Greeks.
   would be similar to that of the ancient Greeks.
  She argued that dance should be natural and free.
   She argued that dance should be natural and free.
  She accused ballet of damaging the body.
   She accused ballet of damaging the body.
  She said it locked away freedom of expression.
   She said it locked away freedom of expression.
  Isadora was not happy about ballet dancing.
   Isadora was not happy about ballet dancing.
  She even wanted it to be made illegal.
   She even wanted it to be made illegal.
  She ended her speech by saying,
   She ended her speech by saying,
  'The dance of the future will have to become,
   'The dance of the future will have to become,
  once again,
   once again,
  a religious art form.
   a religious art form.
  It needs to become a statement of belief.
   It needs to become a statement of belief.
  Dance that is not religious is not dance at all.
   Dance that is not religious is not dance at all.
  It is simply something that can be bought and sold.
   It is simply something that can be bought and sold.
  It is not what it should be - an expression of the spirit'.
   It is not what it should be - an expression of the spirit'.
  Dance experts did not like what she said.
   Dance experts did not like what she said.
  But over the following years
   But over the following years
  Isadora started to demonstrate her beliefs.
   Isadora started to demonstrate her beliefs.
  Her popularity began to grow.
   Her popularity began to grow.
  One day, in 1904,
   One day, in 1904,
  Isadora met the actor Edward Gorden Craig.
   Isadora met the actor Edward Gorden Craig.
  She invited him to her next performance.
   She invited him to her next performance.
  Edward Craig wrote this about what he watched.
   Edward Craig wrote this about what he watched.
  'She came through the curtains.
   'She came through the curtains.
  Everything was kept very simple.
   Everything was kept very simple.
  She was wearing clothes of white cloth.
   She was wearing clothes of white cloth.
  She looked like an ancient Greek.
   She looked like an ancient Greek.
  A musician sat at the piano.
   A musician sat at the piano.
  He played a short piece by Chopin.
   He played a short piece by Chopin.
  But Isadora did not move.
   But Isadora did not move.
  She stood on her feet very still,
   She stood on her feet very still,
  very quiet.
   very quiet.
  Then as the musician started playing again
   Then as the musician started playing again
  Isadora started to move to the music.
   Isadora started to move to the music.
  She did not dance as a ballet dancer would.
   She did not dance as a ballet dancer would.
  She was not dancing to another person's rules or structures.
   She was not dancing to another person's rules or structures.
  This dance came from within Isadora.
   This dance came from within Isadora.
  She moved, as I have never seen anyone move before'.
   She moved, as I have never seen anyone move before'.
  Isadora Duncan believed that dance could free people.
   Isadora Duncan believed that dance could free people.
  She believed that through dance
   She believed that through dance
  people could discover their spiritual selves.
   people could discover their spiritual selves.
  Isadora did not belong to any particular religious faith.
   Isadora did not belong to any particular religious faith.
  But for her life was more than just the physical world.
   But for her life was more than just the physical world.
  She wanted to share this understanding with other people.
   She wanted to share this understanding with other people.
  During her life she formed many dance schools in France,
   During her life she formed many dance schools in France,
  Germany and Russia.
   Germany and Russia.
  The children who learned at the school
   The children who learned at the school
  went on to perform in many great dance companies throughout the world.
   went on to perform in many great dance companies throughout the world.
  In this way Isadora's theory of dance
   In this way Isadora's theory of dance
  still continues to influence people today.
   still continues to influence people today.
  Isadora's interest in the relationship between dance
   Isadora's interest in the relationship between dance
  and the human spirit never led her to a belief in God.
   and the human spirit never led her to a belief in God.
  Some people would say she missed the very thing she searched for.
   Some people would say she missed the very thing she searched for.
  Mary Raynard is different.
   Mary Raynard is different.
  Mary is just one of the many dancers today
   Mary is just one of the many dancers today
  who have been influenced by the work of Isadora Duncan.
   who have been influenced by the work of Isadora Duncan.
  She lives in France.
   She lives in France.
  For many years Mary studied dance using Isadora's methods.
   For many years Mary studied dance using Isadora's methods.
  She worked as a dancer in many countries around the world.
   She worked as a dancer in many countries around the world.
  She made her living by dancing.
   She made her living by dancing.
  Then Mary became a Christian.
   Then Mary became a Christian.
  She now uses dance to worship God.
   She now uses dance to worship God.
  She uses dance as a way to communicate with God.
   She uses dance as a way to communicate with God.
  As she says,
   As she says,
  'Before I became a Christian
   'Before I became a Christian
  I felt that there was something more to life
   I felt that there was something more to life
  than just what I could see around me.
   than just what I could see around me.
  But it was still very mysterious to me.
   But it was still very mysterious to me.
  When I became a Christian
   When I became a Christian
  I learned what that 'something' was.
   I learned what that 'something' was.
  It was God.
   It was God.
  Now when I dance.
   Now when I dance.
  I am dancing for Him.
   I am dancing for Him.
  It is like I am touching a power now
   It is like I am touching a power now
  that I could never explain before.'
   that I could never explain before.'
  The writer of today's programme was Elizabeth Lickiss.
   The writer of today's programme was Elizabeth Lickiss.
  The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom
   The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom
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   the United States and Canada.
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  This programme is called 'Isadora Duncan'.
   This programme is called 'Isadora Duncan'.
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