Education Programs

The work of Isadora Duncan at the turn of the 20th century revolutionized the world of dance,and the performing arts.  Paving the way for contemporary dance and the performing arts today, for over a century, Duncan's work inspired many to embrace the nature of humanity and freed the artists' souls.
With no formal choreography texts, and only still photographs and 10 seconds of film footage to document her work, the importance of Duncan's original choreographies lives in a few. Passed down from teacher to pupil, beginning with the late Isadora Duncan and the Isadorables,to later third and fourth generation dancers, the original Duncan choreographies live on to educate today's contemporary dancers on the foundation of their current art, and inspire them to revolutionize today's performing arts.


Word Dance Theater houses the following original choreography from the late Isadora Duncan.  Each dance can be classified by composer, time period, and theme.  Dance demonstrations can be packaged with any of the program offerings to accomplish the objectives of the desired lesson plan.



Ranging from 1 hour and 15 min. to 2 hours, these classes provide an overview of Duncan’s technique and philosophy of dance.  Master Classes can be tailored for beginning through advanced dancers.



As an organization that houses many of Isadora Duncan's original work, Word Dance Theater provides educational lectures and demonstrations to further enrich the education of today's dancers. Below are lectures and demonstrations presented by Word Dance Theater.  Educational programs can be customized to accomodate the needs of the educational institution.
  1. “Isadora Duncan: Her Life and Art”
    This presentation shows the chronology of Duncan’s life with, photos and dances interspersed in the lecture.
  2. “Isadora Duncan and the Ballet Russe”
    Trace Duncan’s tours to Russia, her connections to the Imperial Ballet of Russia.  See how her work influenced on Russian dancers such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova, and Mikhail Fokine, and how those influences blossomed into the famous Ballet Russe.  
  3. “Isadora Duncan and the Roots of Modernism"
    Trace Duncan’s impact of the art of the 20th century including painters, sculptors, and dancers such as Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and forward to Post-Modernism.
  4. “Creating Cross-Discipline Productions: It’s Joys and Challenges”
    See the step-by-step methods Word Dance Theater uses to envision and create our cutting edge performances that blend advanced light and sound technology with original theater, live music, and classic and contemporary choreography.  



The following are general descriptions of the Word Dance Theater Workshop formats.  Each format can be further customized to to tailor an ideal experience for your dance program.  
  • HALF DAY:  In a 1.5 hour technique class and a 2 hour rehearsal, Word Dance Theater will set one original Duncan dance from our repertory on your students or faculty.  The dances learned can be selected by the presenter and Word Dance Theater based on technical difficulty as well as thematic content and length.


  • FULL DAY: In a 1 hour lecture/demonstration from topics listed on our repertory page or those suggested by the presenter, followed by a 1.5 hour technique class, and a 3 hour session in which Word Dance Theater can mount up to two original Duncan dances OR contemporary dances created using the Duncan technique. 


  • ONE WEEK: Word Dance Theater's ONE WEEK RESIDENCY consists of multiple technique classes and rehearsals resulting in the creation of a 30-45 minute “Salon” performance by the students.  The Salon can be performed on campus or off site in museums, galleries, etc.  This residency also includes the possibility of two (2) outreach programs offered by Word Dance Theater for the community via master classes, lecture/demonstrations, etc.  


  • SEMESTER: The SEMESTER RESIDENCY provides students with the opportunity for evening length, multi-disciplinary dance/theater works such as Once Wild: Isadora in Russia or Preludes: Duncan, Sand & Chopin to be set on students and/or faculty.  Through the performance of these productions, Dance, Theater and Music Departments have the opportunity to collaborate on one production.  Ideally Word Dance Theater directors would have a one week intensive to begin the process and then several weekends to continue to refine the production before its premiere.


Photo:  Isadora Duncan with her students in Paris.  Photo by Paul Berger, 1908.