Isadora Duncan (Mother of Modern Dance)
Isadora Duncan (May 26, 1877 - September 14, 1927) was a dancer, considered by many to be the creator of modern dance. Born in the United States, she lived in Europe and the Soviet Union from the age of 22 until her death at age 50. In the United States she was popular only in New York, and then only later in her life. She performed to acclaim throughout Europe.
Duncan's fondness for flowing scarves was the cause of her death in a freak automobile accident in Nice, France. Duncan's large silk scarf, while still draped around her neck, became entangled around one of the vehicle's open-spoked wheels and rear axle, breaking her neck.
Her father was the son of Joseph Moulder Duncan and Harriett Bioren. Soon after Isadora's birth, Joseph Duncan lost the bank and was publicly disgraced. Her parents were divorced by 1880 (the papers were lost in the San Francisco earthquake), and her mother Dora moved with her family to Oakland. She worked there as a pianist and music teacher. In her early years, Duncan did attend school but, finding it to be constricting to her individuality, she dropped out. As her family was very poor, both she and her sister gave dance classes to local children to earn extra money.
In 1895 Duncan became part of Augustin Daly's theater company in New York. She soon became disillusioned with the form. In 1899 she decided to move to Europe, first to London and then a year later, to Paris. Within two years she achieved both notoriety and success.
Her father, along with his third wife and their daughter, died in the 1898 sinking of the British passenger steamer SS Mohegan.
Isadora Duncan on Wikipedia
Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation