Once Wild: Isadora in Russia

“On the way to Russia, I had the detached feeling of a soul after death making its way to another sphere… I actually believed that the ideal state, such as Plato, Marx and Lenin had dreamed it, had now, by some miracle, been created on earth.”

- Isadora Duncan, 1921


Never one to miss a revolution, Isadora Duncan arrived in Russia in 1921, determined to ignite its children’s minds through a new school of dance. Immersed in the spirit of the time, Duncan created some of her most groundbreaking, soulsearing works. Her story, as dramatic as its surrounding history, comes to life in this unique collaboration that weaves Duncan’s own dances with a newly commissioned play, world-premiere choreography, and original score.

The winner of two Dance Metro DC awards for "Outstanding Group Performance" and "Excellence in Multi-Media Stage Design," Once Wild:  Isadora in Russia steps across creative boundaries in this progressive multi-disciplinary production to offer a bold, new vision of seminal artist Isadora Duncan, her work, and her years in Bolshevik Russia.

Conceived by Cynthia Word/ Word Dance Theater.
Produced by Word Dance Theater and Georgetown University's Davis Performing Arts Center.

Written by Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright Norman Allen.
Directed by award-winning director Derek Goldman
Choreography of Isadora Duncan re-staged by Jeanne Bresciani.
Original Choreography by Cynthia Word.
Original Music by Dominik Maican.
Musical Direction and Performance by Carlos Cesar Rodriguez.

Sound Design by James Garver.
Light and Set Design by Robbie Hayes.
Projection Design by Jared Mezzocchi.
Costume Design by Judith Hansen.

Once Wild opened to three sold out performances May 3, 2013 at Georgetown University's Gonda Theater in Washington, DC.

“A beautifully rendered production…Once Wild is an important creation,
but its greatest achievement is as a bold new work of art.
This is a collaborative work of the highest order, a labor of love
that turns on the same devotion to art and excellence that moved Irma herself.”
Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post, May 2013
“I was immediately impressed by the inventive narrative of
the revolutionary Russia of the 1920s.  Outstanding choreography,
live piano, Russian folk music, and poetry create a long-lasting impression.” 
- Ekaterina Brancato, Dimensions, April 2013

Reviews and Articles for Once Wild:  Isadora in Russia

7/29/13, "The Theater of the Furrowed Brow", Norman Allen, Howlround

5/4/13, “Isadora is captured in ‘Once Wild’”, Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post

5/2/13, “Once Wild”, Ekaterina Brancato, Dimen∫ionΣ

5/2/13,  “Russian Adventures”, Patrick Folliard,  Washington Blade

4/29/13, “Word Dance’s ‘Once Wild’:  Isadora in Russia’ premieres May 3″, Robert Devaney, The Georgetowner

4/23/13, “‘Once Wild’ explores Isadora Duncan’s varied facets beyond dancing”, Sarah Kaufmann, Washington Post (Preview)


Downloads for Once Wild:  Isadora in Russia 

Press Kit

Presenter's Kit

Photo Gallery


Thank you to all of our generous sponsors for making this production a reality.
Click here for the complete list of Once Wild sponsors.


Photo by Theo Kossenas, Media 4 Artists, LLC