Isadora Duncan was an American pioneer of concert dance at the turn of the 20th century, a self-styled revolutionary, whose innovative free-spirited style broke with the dominant rigidity of ballet and led to what is now called modern or contemporary dance. Dance NOW! Miami (DNM), one of the leading companies in Florida, will reconstruct four essential works of Duncan’s for their annual Masterpiece In Motion series, at their Program II Contemporanea, along with featuring guest company Italy’s Opus Ballet, in collaboration, for their U.S. premiere.
Duncan was chosen this year by Dance Now because it is the centennial celebration of women’s suffrage in the United States. “In the era of #MeToo and the renewed struggles world-wide for women’s autonomy and freedom to control their own lives, reviving Duncan’s groundbreaking work was a perfect choice for our company,” said Hannah Baumgarten, Artistic Co-Director of Dance NOW!. Andrea Mantell-Seidel, the past Artistic Director of Miami's Isadora Duncan Dance Ensemble, will be restaging the Duncan pieces on the Dance NOW! company members, performing with guest artist Ivette Sotomayor. Mantell-Seidel is currently the Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Professor Emeritus of Dance at Florida International University. The works are Ave Maria, Harp Etude, and two of Duncan’s “Russian revolutionary dances,” Varshiavianka and Dubinushka.
The evening also features guest company Opus Ballet, from Florence, Italy, one of Italy’s rising contemporary dance troupes, on their first U.S. tour. They will share the stage as part of the ongoing Dance NOW! Miami Bridges Project. DNM was in residence in Italy and collaborated with Opus Ballet last spring, where they performed the original Bridges NOT Walls. This time both companies will be performing in Opus Ballet’s original Caravan, a commentary on the European crisis with migration and culture. “To bring a company from Italy here to South Florida, to partner with them, means so much to me, having been raised in Italy and now having lived here for decades,” says Dance Now Miami Co-Artistic Director Diego Salterini. Additional work from each company will round out the program.