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DUNCAN, Isadora.

Der Tanz Der Zukunft. (The Dance of the Future.)

Übersetzt und Eingeleitet von Karl Federn.

Published: Leipzig: Eugen Diederichs, 1903

Stock code: 83693

Price: £2,750

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Rare first edition of Duncan’s 1903 Berlin address that became the manifesto of modern dance, and was a volley of modernist feminism fired across the bow of the traditional art world. Coupling Nietzchean philosophy with Greek classicism, Duncan theorised a completely new form of dance that originated in the body itself – the solar plexus – and was free and natural like the dance of the ancient Greeks. She decried the staidness of ballet as “deforming the beautiful woman’s body” and argued that, “The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of that soul will have become the movement of the body… She will dance not in the form of a nymph, nor fairy, nor coquette but in the form of a woman in its greatest and purest expression. She will realise the mission of woman’s body and the holiness of all its parts. She will dance the changing life of nature, showing how each part is transformed into the other. From all parts of her body shall shine radiant intelligence, bringing to the world the message of the thoughts and aspirations of thousands of women. She shall dance the freedom of women…”. Though OCLC records about 35 copies in institutional holdings, this book is rare on the market and we can locate no records of it appearing at auction.

Octavo. Original cream wrappers printed in blue. Housed in a blue cloth folding case. Portrait frontispiece and a single double-sided plate. Text in German and English. Wrappers toned and rubbed, some wear at ends of spine, lower corner of wrappers and early leaves of contents a little creased and dulled. A very good copy of this fragile production.

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