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ISADORA starring Natalia Osipova
World Premiere

Presented by presented by
Venue: Segerstrom Hall Tickets start at $29.00



Vladimir Varnava, choreographer of Russia’s fabled Mariinsky Theatre, leads a creative team to bring the remarkable life of the modern dance revolutionary, Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), center stage in a World Premiere starring Natalia Osipova, one of today’s reigning prima ballerinas and principal dancer of London’s Royal Ballet.

Isadora Duncan revolutionized the world of Dance, rejecting the formal language of ballet to forge a new art form of modern movement. A California native, she shed the corsets, petticoats, and heavy skirts of her day to perform in a free-flowing tunic like a glorious, bare-footed Greek statue come to life. After generations of Puritanism, America longed for Isadora’s glamour and beauty presented in a direct, natural form that all could understand.

Inspired by antique art, she brought Greece to Kansas and Kalamazoo, then achieved world-wide acclaim in Paris, Berlin and the emerging Soviet Union, where she created an impressive dance school and married the young poet Sergei Yesenin. An important innovator, she insisted her art merited the greatest music and danced to Gluck, Wagner, Bach and Beethoven. With her head reared and bare limbs moving to a Chopin Waltz, the “Mother of Modern Dance” lifted audiences from their seats, exalted and inspired.

Her life, though, is a riveting study in contrast. On the stage, she created elegant beauty, but off stage, great tragedy ensued. It is said she was only truly happy when she danced. Fittingly, her infamous death was as dramatic as her life. Her story is truly one for the stage. Though her life may have been cut tragically short, her legacy lives on. Natalia Osipova, one of today’s reigning prima ballerinas, has long been captivated by the artistry of the dance revolutionary. “I have always wanted to bring her fascinating story and artistry to the stage, and I am so excited to create a new work honoring her incredible life.”

Isadora Duncan: Natalia Osipova
The Ballerina: Veronika Part
Sergei Yesenin: Vladimir Dorokhin

Music: Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella,
    performed by the Mikhailovsky Orchestra, Pavel Sorokin, conductor
Libretto: Vladimir Varnava and Konstantin Fedorov
Choreography: Vladimir Varnava
Costume and Set Designer: Galya Solodovnikova
Lighting Designer: Konstantin Binkin

Come one hour before each performance and enjoy a Free Preview Talk by editor, author, lecturer and dance historian, Elizabeth Kaye. These informative presentations about Isadora Duncan and this world premiere production will take place in the Orchestra Terrace section of Segerstrom Hall.

Isadora is a co-production by Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Ardani Artists.

Isadora is presented with special underwriting from Michelle Rohé.

Running time (approximate): 1 hour and 50 minutes

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Program Info

Watch & Listen

  • TV spot

  • Rehearsal