Isadora Duncan & Lori Belilove dance for Ukraine in 42nd Annual Battery Dance Festival

Isadora Duncan & Lori Belilove dance for Ukraine in 42nd Annual Battery Dance Festival

In the 42nd Annual Battery Dance Festival in New York City, Lori Belilove will pay homage to the heroic valor of the Ukrainian people with a suite inspired by Isadora Duncan’s heroic dances (Marche Heroique, Varshavianka) and Belilove’s own choreography in the style of Isadora. The Company will perform the work titled “Tribute to Ukraine” honoring the heroism, valor, and grit of the Ukrainian people. Belilove, herself of Ukrainian ancestry, reimagines these Isadora Duncan dances that evoke the cry, the terror, the loss. 

In 1921, Duncan returned to the USSR to start a school of dance at the invitation of the new Soviet government, whereby she believed she was participating in the formation of a free and heroic society. Ignited, she assimilated her personal passion for political change with a vision of the universal humanitarian fight.

Belilove was inspired to re-stage Isadora’s dance Varshavianka (1924) to the Ukrainian National Anthem, in response to the horrors of the Russian invasion. In the dance, heroes die and are re-born, but ideals outlast the trials and tribulations of war. What was a single soldier on stage grows to an ever accumulating force as the dancers mourn the dead, share in suffering, and finally rise heroic.

Complimenting Belilove’s interpretation of Varshavianka is her original choreography, titled Comrades, reflecting in a lone female voice of universal grief. Opening the suite is Duncan’s Marche Heroique (1916)staged by Belilove and set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique,” III. Allegro molto vivace, where a formidable, proud march inspires the dancers’ call to action and endurance. 

Belilove, the world’s foremost interpreter of Isadora’s work, understands the timeless freedoms Isadora sought – the same freedom that Ukraine seeks, all humanity seeks. 

“Art can succeed where war fails” – Lori Belilove

This free performance is on August 17th, 2023, at 7:00PM, Battery Park City Esplanade, New York, NY 10282.

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