Never one to miss a revolution, Isadora Duncan arrived in Russia in 1921, determined to ignite its children’s minds through a new school of dance. Immersed in the spirit of the time, Duncan created some of her most groundbreaking, soulsearing works. Her story, as dramatic as its surrounding history, comes to life in this unique collaboration that weaves Duncan’s own dances with a newly commissioned play, world-premiere choreography, and original score.

The winner of two Dance Metro DC awards for Outstanding Group Performance and Excellence in Multi-Media Stage Design, Once Wild:  Isadora in Russia steps across creative boundaries in this progressive multi-disciplinary production to offer a bold, new vision of seminal artist Isadora Duncan, her work, and her years in Bolshevik Russia.

 
On the way to Russia, I had the detached feeling of a soul after death making its way to another sphere… I actually believed that the ideal state, such as Plato, Marx and Lenin had dreamed it, had now, by some miracle, been created on earth.
— Isadora Duncan, 1921
 
Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas

Photo by Theo Kossenas


The Production Team

Concept: Cynthia Word
Produced by: Word Dance Theater and Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center
Writer:
Norman Allen
Director: Derek Goldman
Choreography: Isadora Duncan re-staged by Jeanne Bresciani, Original choreography by Cynthia Word
Original Music: Dominik Maican
Musical Direction and Performance: Carlos Cesar Rodriguez
Sound Design: James Garver
Lighting and Set Design: Robbie Hayes
Production Design: Jared Mezzocchi
Costume Design: Judith Hansen

The Artists

Dancers: Alison Crosby, Philip Fletcher, Hannah Goldberg, Dawn Meadows, Elizabeth Naro, Julia Smith, Kathleen Weitz, Cynthia Word, Ingrid Zimmer
Actor: Kimberly Schraf
Pianist: Carlos Cesar Rodriquez



Reviews

“A beautifully rendered production…Once Wild is an important creation, but its greatest achievement is as a bold new work of art. This is a collaborative work of the highest order, a labor of love that turns on the same devotion to art and excellence that moved Irma herself.”
- Sarah Kaufman, 
The Washington Post

“I was immediately impressed by the inventive narrative of the revolutionary Russia of the 1920s.  Outstanding choreography, live piano, Russian folk music, and poetry create a long-lasting impression.”
- Ekaterina Brancato, 
Dimensions

“That sense of duality—past and present, old art and new—became a constant in our work, and was seen most clearly in Irma’s portrayal.”
- Norman Allen, Howlround

“But there’s much more to the glamorous mother of modern dance than her ungraceful death and Word Dance Theater, a D.C.-based cross disciplinary company dedicated to carrying forth Duncan’s work, is doing its best to make sure that the world knows it.”
- Patrick Folliard, Washington Blade

“Its multi-disciplinary outlook seems infectious as different kinds of people have come together to make the debut a success, as if moved by the spirit of Isadora Duncan.”
- Robert Devaney, The Georgetowner