I am not only artistically inspired by Isadora Duncan. I am also inspired by the various artists who influenced her—the poets, composers, and philosophers. And I’m inspired that she drew on such varied sources for creative fuel. As much as I love the specificity of Duncan’s dance technique, I also admire the example she set as an artist intent on carving out her own, unique expressive pathway.
Another of Duncan’s poetic influences, who has long inspired me, is William Blake. As a sophomore at Yale, I took romantic poetry with Harold Bloom and became entranced by the “Book of Thel,” a multi-plate poem that builds off of the cycles of Songs of Innocence and Experience.
I believe it can. And I believe that the example of Duncan’s life and the technology of her dance technique offer models for the transformation of suffering into joy—for the simultaneous embodiment of full experiential knowledge and the retention of an innocent heart.