An Important Historic Milestone in Dance History
Word Dance Theater is the first company in 60 years to present all the dances of Isadora Duncan’s original choreography to Chopin’s 24 Preludes. Duncan’s choreography for 24 Preludes has not been seen in its entirety since Maria Theresa Duncan, Isadora’s daughter, performed it in New York City in 1950.
In Preludes: Duncan, Sand & Chopin, Jeanne Bresciani, the Artistic Director of the New York-based Isadora Duncan International Institute (www.idii.org) and chief exponent of the late Maria-Theresa Duncan, and Word Dance Theater are fulfilling a personal promise made to “the last dancing Isadorable”. Prior to Maria-Theresa Duncan’s death in 1987, she confirmed in a personal letter to her protégée, Jeanne Bresciani, her great wish that Jeanne, as the sole pupil to whom she taught the complete collection of Isadora Duncan’s dances to Chopin’s 24 Preludes in their entirety, continue to bring the dances to 24 Preludes to full mastery and amass these works onstage in a vehicle worthy of the profound dance cycle, which she termed the “essence of Isadora.” Maria-Theresa Duncan alone housed the complete Isadora Duncan’s 24 Preludes, making this request imperative for the legacy of Isadora Duncan’s work to continue.
Bresciani, with assistance of Word Dance Theater, has kept her promise to Maria- Theresa Duncan. Now, in Word Dance Theater’s Preludes: Duncan, Sand & Chopin, dancers Jeanne Bresciani, Cynthia Word, and Ingrid Zimmer, bring to the world all 24 of Isadora Duncan’s original dances to Chopin’s Preludes in performance – a feat no other company has achieved.
Word Dance Theater dancers - Cynthia Word and Ingrid Zimmer along with Jeanne Bresciani - performed Duncan’s original choreography to Chopin’s 24 Preludes, played live by renowned concert pianist Carlos CesarRodriguez. Helen Hayes award winner Mary Hall Surface wrote and directed the original script. And Maia DeSanti portrayed Sand.
Preludes: Duncan, Chopin & Sand premiered on November 4, 2010, at the Harman Center for the Arts – Lansburgh Theater, Washington, DC.