The Isadorables

Abraham Walkowitz

The Isadora Duncan Dance School opened in 1903 in Grunewald, Germany. Eighteen to twenty girls, ages four to ten, were boarded and educated free of charge. In order to provide the tuition for the girls, it was necessary for Isadora to tour extensively. In her absence, Isadora’s sister Elizabeth was the director of the school; however, it was Isadora, who provided the artistic vision for the venture. Because of continuing financial difficulties, and Elizabeth’s desire to assume a more significant position in the school, the Grunewald experiment closed in 1908. Elizabeth opened her own school in Darmstadt, with the majority of the pupils leaving with her. Six of the girls, who had become the principal dancers of the Grunewald school, remained with Isadora and were given the title: “Isadorables.” They were Anna Denzler, Maria-Theresa Kruger, Irma Erich-Grimme, Elizabeth (Lisa) Milker, Margot (Gretel) Jehl, and Erica Lohmann. In 1919, Isadora legally adopted the six girls, and of these, Irma, Lisa and Anna permanently assumed the name Duncan.

In Walkowitz’s depiction, he shows in successive registers the Isadorables, and as the root and progenitor, Isadora is shown in the bottom row. Around the border of the composition, Walkowitz has lettered names of modern dancers, composers, and choreographers. It appears that this collage is a “family tree” of modern dance, and in it the ink drawings capture the persona of each dancer in dynamic abstract fashion without straying into generic formulas.

h/t wood s lot

2 thoughts on “Isadorables

  1. Where do you get you information about the Walkowitz drawings? Where does this page come from?

    I am glad you re posting information aboutISadora andher students, but I am curious about the source of your information.

    Lori Belilove
    Artistic Director
    Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, NYC

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