as seen in MoMA’s excellent Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 exhibit


Times Wide World Photos. “A Famous School of Dance Has a Birthday,” class at an Isadora Duncan dance school. 1929

A quasimystical belief in the psychological and therapeutic power of expressive movement inspired pioneers of modern dance education in Europe and the United States, among them Isadora Duncan and Margaret Morris, each of whom established private schools for children. Classes were frequently conducted outdoors, and emphasized a natural athleticism. Touring troupes of scantily clad girls trained by Duncan performed with bare feet and loose hair, causing a public sensation before and after World War I.

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