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 Post subject: Ashton's Isadora dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2002 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 240
<img src="http://www.dancing-times.co.uk/Pics/dancingtimes/200210/front200210.jpg" alt="" />

The Isadora Dances of Sir Fred
by Lynn Seymour for The Dancing Times

Fred was sensationally unwilling and resistant to John Neumeier’s suggestion to create some dances depicting Isadora Duncan, insisting that the dangers of her seeming to be a galumphing, undisciplined and ridiculous figure were insurmountable. John was putting together a Diaghilev Gala in which he was featuring Les Sylphides, Fokine’s Rosetta stone of 20th century ballet. Les Sylphides represented a firm departure from the longstanding influence of Petipa and doffed a cap to the innovative Isadora who had swept Fokine off his feet. John was keen to illustrate the impact Isadora must have had on the impressionable young choreographer. Finally Fred agreed to do a sketch. He insisted that he would not attempt to imitate her choreography but would, instead, aim at emulating the atmosphere she exuded, the aura she spun and the innovation that so captured and enthralled her followers.

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 Post subject: Re: Ashton's Isadora dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3173
Location: San Francisco
I saw Lynn Seymour perform this at an ABT gala, but I don't recall whether it was in San Francisco or elsewhere. I recall that there was quite a bit of tittering from the audience at first, which died away after awhile. I was not inclined to be favorably impressed by the piece, as the idea of Isadora's dancing has never held any charm for me, and I haven't enjoyed the performances of the Isadora schools I've seen. But Seymour brought out very well what, I suppose, must have been so appealing about Isadora - her freedom, abandon, passion and conviction. I was impressed. That made two pieces I'd seen Seymour in (the other was "The Invitation") and it reinforced my opinion that she was a great dance actress.


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 Post subject: Re: Ashton's Isadora dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I have never seen Seymour in a live performance but I do have a number of tapes of her:

brahms waltzes in manner of duncan seymour
giselle complete nureyev seymour
month in the country complete seymour dowell
sleeping beauty pdd nureyev seymour
sleeping beauty pdd seymour nureyev

I agree, from what I have seen, she was a marvelous dancer/actress. It was for her, of course, that MacMillan choreographed Romeo and Juliet. Her and Christopher Gable.

I feel much like DJB, about the Isadora Duncan. Not truly my cup of tea, but I could appreciate what she brought to it and what she was doing. She did paint a picture and a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ashton's Isadora dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2002 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 171
Location: Chicago, IL
I was lucky to be able to sit outside the door of the studio on the sixth floor at City Center and watch Lynn Seymour rehearse Jodie Gates of The Joffrey Ballet in "Five Brahms Waltzes in The Manner of Isadora Duncan"

I'll never forget Seymour's performance in Ashton's "A Month in The Country".


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 Post subject: Re: Ashton's Isadora dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2002 12:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 683
Location: California
What a great article!

Glebb, I will never forget her in "Month" as well. I saw almost the entire original cast in LA in the late 70's. Altered my life forever.

Now that I'm older :-( I appreciate the Isadora dances much, much more. Lynn is an amazing artist. Too bad her performance isn't on the AMP Swan Lake. She was amazing as the Queen Mother.

:-)
D


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 Post subject: Re: Ashton's Isadora dances
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 10:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1742
Location: London UK
Maurice Bejart also choreographed a suite of dances inspired by Duncan. I saw Maya Plisetskaya dance them in Vienna with the Imperial Russian Ballet in either 1993 or 94. I think the music was Schubert. Like the Ashton version, she was accompanied by a pianist on stage, but it wasn't quite a solo performance as she was joined at one point by a group of small children. It was an exceptionally attractive piece and a role that suited Plisetskaya extremely well.


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 Post subject: Re: Ashton's Isadora dances
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 934
Location: SF CA
I adored Lynn Seymour. I was fortunate to see her dance lots in the 60's and 70's when she toured with the Royal to SF. I was very lucky to be backstage at the Royal Opera House in London watching her do a Giselle. At intermission she went missing. I guess that she was not pleased with the way the performace was going or something,so she went outside and hailed a taxi to go home still dressed in her Act 1 costume. After some coaxing she came back in and did a fantastic Act 2. She was something else!


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