Simple, High-Quality & Joyful Study of Dance


A Time with Isadora: Update

A Time with Isadora, Movement Arts Atlanta’s (MAA) current major project, is making progress! Following are several updates, information about performances and what to look forward to next.

Since March 3, A Time with Isadora has raised $5,435 towards the first phase goal of $6,000. We hope to meet this goal by April 30. This first phase includes supporting the reconstruction of excepts from José Limón’s Dances for Isadora and the performance of these three dances during the Inman Park Dance Festival. After April 30, fundraising for the second phase of the project will begin. For this phase the goal is $9,000 which will support the reconstruction of an original Isadora Duncan work, commissions for three new dances by Atlanta choreographers and the performance of all of these dances on September 29 at the Trolley Barn.

From April 1 through April 4, Movement Arts Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, hosted Natalie Desch the Limón Foundation Reconstructor. She worked with three Atlanta based artists, Julie Feracota, Andie Knudson, and Mercy Matthews, who learn the solos, Primavera, Maenad and Niobe, which are three of the five dances of Limón’s Dances for Isadora. In addition to teaching these solos, Ms. Desch also taught two masterclasses which were attended by dancers from ages 10 to 75. The work of the weekend was joyful and engaging. These events were documented with photographs taken by John Ramspott. Here is a gallery of some of the reconstruction rehearsals and here is a gallery of one of the master classes.

During the last month, the three choreographers for the commissioned works have been confirmed. New works based on the theme of A Time with Isadora, how one artist influences many, will be made by: Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, Director of Movement Arts Atlanta; Douglas Scott, Artistic/Executive Director of Full Radius Dance; and, George Staib, Artistic Director of Staib Dance.

The first performance of the project will be the presentation of the three solos from Dances for Isadora at the Inman Park Dance Festival (IPDF). IPDF will celebrate it 20th anniversary during two free performances on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 pm in the Trolley Barn, 963 Edgewood Avenue, 30307. MAA along with Atlanta Historic Dance, Ballethnic, Full Radius Dance, the Georgia Ballet, and ImmerseATL will perform works spanning 350 years of concert dance; Baroque, ballet and modern.

Next steps for A Time with Isadora are exciting and numerous. Details about a documentary film are just around the corner. There will be more fundraising with solicitation of donations and sponsorships, a raffle and perhaps a champaign (Isadora’s favorite drink) tasting. There will be the reconstruction of an original Isadora Duncan work. Support will be provided to the commissioned artists as they make the new works for the project. And of course, all the details will need to be managed for the major performance of the project in September at the Trolley Barn.


20th Inman Park Dance Festival

Photo by John Ramspott

Movement Arts Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Inman Park Dance Festival which she directs and is part of the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes.

The Inman Park Dance Festival is one of the many ways that the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes supports the performing arts. The two free shows present both classical ballet and modern dance in a family friendly format at The Trolley Barn on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 pm. For this 20th anniversary festival, IPDF will present a program which spans more than 350 years of concert dance by presenting the following Atlanta area companies; Atlanta Historic Dance, Ballethnic, Full Radius Dance, The Georgia Ballet, ImmerseATL and Movement Arts Atlanta.

The first time period represented in the dance festival is mid-1600s. Atlanta Historic Dance will perform work from this period when social dance began to transition into concert dance. In fact, classical ballet marks its birth in 1661 with the opening of the first school for training dancers by France’s King Louis XIV, an accomplished dancer himself.

The Georgia Ballet will represent the Classical era of ballet with and excerpt from Paquita.  Originally dating from 1846 and a staple of ballet companies around the world, the version presented will honor the restaging of Marius Petipa in 1882. TGB’s artistic and technical prowess will make these 140-year-old dances a joy for the audience.

Next, the dance festival will pay homage to the roots of Modern Dance with experts from José Limón’s Dances for Isadora. Choreographed at the end of Mr. Limón’s life in 1971, this work pays homage to Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) who is considered the Mother of Modern Dance. When curating this year’s anniversary dance festival, I was unable to find a company performing early modern work. In true Inman Park fashion (don’t have what is needed, find a way to make it happen), I have organized the reconstruction of the work on Atlanta dance artists through Movement Arts Atlanta’s first major project, A Time with Isadora.

Coming into the 21st century, ImmerceATL will showcase young contemporary artists. Founded in 2017 by Atlanta native, Sarah J. Hillmer, ImmerceATL is a training and mentorship program for immerging artists bridging the pre-professional life with the professional life of an artist.

Full Radius Dance (FRD) is Atlanta’s globally recognized leader in physical integrate dance. FRD is the only company which has appeared in every performance of the IPDF. Both a leader in the community and a supportive friend of the dance festival, this modern company’s work is both strong in its physicality and nuanced in its artistic expression.

Ballethnic’s outstanding blend of ballet and West African dance is also widely recognized. Another long-time performer (15 out of 20 festivals) and friend of the dance festival, Ballethnic’s unique movement vocabulary and frequent live music accompaniment is always a crowd pleaser. For 2022, both Ballethnic’s professional and pre-professional ensembles will perform.

It is noteworthy that the IPDF is the only free admission dance festival that presents both ballet and modern in its programs and compensates the participating companies. In its 20-year history, the Inman Park Dance Festival with the support of The Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes and Inman Park Neighbors will have presented 39 free performances to tens-of-thousands of audience members and engaged hundreds of Georgia artists. This is worth celebrating!


A Time with Isadora – A Major Project for MAA

Movement Arts Atlanta is happy to announce the beginning of its inaugural major project, A Time with Isadora. The project will present conversation and performance around the phenomenon of the “Mother of Modern Dance,” Isadora Duncan with original Duncan work, excerpts from José Limón’s Dances for Isadora and new works by Atlanta dance artists.

The first event of the project will be two Limón master classes with Natalie Desch. These will take place while Ms. Desch is in Atlanta to set the excerpts from Limón’s Dances for Isadora. The classes will take place Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 from 1:00 pm until 2:30 pm at Dance Foundry. Further information about the classes and registration is available here. The cost of each class is $30, a package of two classes is $45.

The preliminary performance of the project will be the performance of two of Limón Dances for Isadora as part of the 20th Anniversary Inman Park Dance Festival which is a program of the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes. The dance festival’s two free performances will take place Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 pm in The Trolley Barn. The performances will include dances spanning more that 350 years of dance history with performance by Atlanta Historic Dance, Ballethnic, Full Radius Dance, The Georgia Ballet, ImmerseATL and Movement Arts Atlanta.

During the period of May 2022 and September 2022, the project will continue with the reconstruction of an original Duncan work from the early 20th century and the commissioning of new works with the themes of one artist’s influence on another, how artists are inspired to make work and the misconceptions around how the creation of this work happens.

The second performance of the project will be a salon style performance that will include the Duncan selection, three excerpts from Dances for Isadora, the new works by Atlanta area choreographers and a moderated discussion on Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 pm at The Trolley Barn. Tickets are available here.

Fundraising for this project is underway. Friends of Inman Park has agreed to be the fiscal agent for the project so that donations are tax deductible. The project is also looking for in-kind support such as hosting at the performances and organizing refreshments. Please visit the Support page for further details.