Traditional — Varshavianka

Reconstructed by Julia Levien.

Notes

Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck

Reference: Nahumck, Nadia Chilkovsky. Isadora Duncan: The Dances. Washington DC: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1994.

The music is said to have originated during an 1831 uprising of Polish prisoners in Tsarist Russia. The words used by Duncan were popular in Russia during its revolutionary days. The dance portrays a shock-troop brigade, whose members rescue the flag (imaginary in the original dance) from fallen standard bearers and bring the battle to a victorious conclusion.

Isadora Duncan is reported to have arrived on the scene of the 1905 St. Petersburg massacre—"Bloody Sunday"—just days after it occurred. She dedicated the dance to the massacre victims. In the original version, the dancers also sang.

Irma Duncan

Reference: Schneider, Ilya Ilyich. Isadora Duncan: The Russian Years. Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc, 1969; London: Macdonald, 1968.

These dances, which, with the two funeral dances for the memory of Lenin, the girls of the Isadora Duncan School in Moscow have since danced all over Russia, across Siberia, and in the larger towns of China, are amazing in their effects on the audience. Quite apart from their revolutionary significance, they are all imbued with a real plastic beauty. Several of them, The Blacksmith, Dubinushka and The Warshavianka, are choreographic chefs d’oeuvres. They rank with the great dancer’s compositions to the waltzes of Schubert and Brahms, and the various choral dances which she arranged for her presentations of Gluck’s Orpheus and his Iphigenia.

Videos

Title Date Dancers Full Dance? Notes
Varshavyanka 2017 Yes
isadoraNOW excerpts 2009-08-23 No
Isadora and the American Jewish Intelligentsia 2000 Cathleen Deutscher, Catherine Gallant, Beth Jucovy, Debra Orenstein, Adrienne Ramm, Gabrielle Gregory, Michael Murkofsky Yes
Russian Worker Songs Lori Belilove, Jeanne Bresciani, Judith Ann Landon, Julia Levien, Adrienne Ramm Yes
Russian Worker Songs Lori Belilove, Jeanne Bresciani, Judith Ann Landon, Julia Levien, Adrienne Ramm Yes Repeat of earlier clip

Related items in the Archives

The Isadora Duncan Archive Collection > Programs > Isadora Duncan in the 21st Century — Jan 20, 2017

The Collection of Mignon Garland > Programs > Isadora Duncan Dancers in New York — 1929

The Collection of Mignon Garland > Programs > Worker's Dance League Recital — Jan 07, 1934

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Riverside Dance Festival — Isadora Duncan Commemorative Dance Company — Jan 24, 1979

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Isadora Duncan Commemorative Dance Company — Nov 16, 1979

The Collection of Janaea Rose Lyn (McAlee) > Programs > Roerich Society Leading Dance Personalities — Irma Duncan — Isadora Duncan Dancers — Dec 09, 1931

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