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Isadora Duncan (1877- 1927), artist and passionate woman, turned XNUMXth century dance upside downe century and laid the foundations for modern dance. Barefoot and in a transparent tunic, she stripped him of his spikes and tutus. She brought the dance back in step with nature and gave it a freedom that matched the spirit of its time. His life became a legend, which in 1914 made a stage of a few months in Deauville.

As Sonia Schoonejans, dance historian, emphasizes, “for Isadora Duncan, dance was not a simple aesthetic fact but a means of changing life”. The stay she made in Deauville between August and November 1914, beyond the anecdotal, allowed her to rebuild herself. It was essential to recover from an immense grief and find the energy conducive to new projects. A few months earlier, her two children, Deidre, 6, and Patrick, 3, drowned, locked up with their nurse, in the car that slipped into the Seine. A third child, born in the spring of 1914, has just died.

When Isadora Duncan arrived in August 1914 at Normandy in Deauville, war had just been declared. During this summer 1914, the hotel, since the general mobilization order was promulgated on 1er August, hosts personalities who have decided to stay, and others who are fleeing Paris. Isadora Duncan meets in the halls, the singer Marthe Chenal, the aviator Santos-Dumont, Robert de Montesquiou and Sacha Guitry. She will then rent a furnished villa called Black and White.

In the grip of long crises of languor, she calls a Deauville doctor to her bedside. The latter, very moved by his distress, wasted no time in expressing his affection, then a passionate love, which would be excellent comfort for her. She sometimes accompanies him on his night visits to the Casino in Deauville, which was then transformed into a military hospital.

The newfound affection helps her to rebuild herself in a period when the regular arrival “ of wounded and dying Give Deauville a strange atmosphere. But too far from her life, she quickly leaves for New York to join her dance school.

To know more :

Isadora Duncan, My life, (1927) reissue Folio-Gallimard (1987)

Isadora Duncan  the dance of the future Complex editions (2003)