Recollections of Isadora Duncan
Teatro Nazionale, Rome, January 25, 2003
The second ballet of the Rome Opera season was Ricordo di Isadora Duncan, choreographed by Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer to music by Beethoven, Grieg, Degeyter-Toscanini, Scriabin and Schubert, with Carla Fracci in the title role. Duncan’s dances were combined with Apollon Déco, by Luc Bouy with music by Satie, featuring Anjella Kouznetsova, Tiziana Lauri and Manuel Paruccini.
This ballet, originally conceived for schools, has had great success in past years ― at least at the box office. This year Hodson created a new solo for Fracci (set to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no. 8, “Pathétique”). Now, after many revisions, the ballet is finally finished.
The didactic intent of this short (barely one hour long) ballet is evident. Two actors ― Sergio Nicolai as The Poet and Cosimo Manicone as The Student, read out excerpts concerning Duncan from Alberto Savinio’s book Narrate, uomini, la vostra storia (Tell, men, your story). (Savinio [1891-1952], writer, painter, musician and playwright, and the brother of the painter Giorgio De Chirico, was one of the major Italian literary figures of the 20th century). Each excerpt is followed by a danced narration of the event. The amusing Charleston-style Apollon Déco recreated the period in which Isadora lived.
Fracci is costumed in Duncan’s style ― white tunic and sandals, and a long red scarf which accompanies her throughout the reenactment of her life. The steps recreate Duncan’s neoclassical style, and the tone is sometimes serene and sometimes quite sad, as when the tragic death of Isadora’s children is recalled. It’s in these dramatic moments that Fracci shows her great qualities as a tragedienne.
The full house was quite happy with the performance.
<small>[ 07 August 2004, 03:52 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>