Iced Oysters and Iced Champagne: The Life of Isadora Duncan

My kind of girl, I think.

The Not So Innocents Abroad

When Isadora Duncan’s mother was pregnant with the dancer, she could eat only iced oysters and iced champagne. Isadora danced her first dances in the womb, she claimed, under the influence of those effervescent bubbles and slippery molluscs. And she kept right on drinking champagne and dining on luxuries until her dying day. She would buy buckets of champagne to drink with friends even when she was too broke to rent a room where she could spend the night. Better just to stay up till dawn drinking.

A self-described bacchante, Isadora gave herself to the pleasures of the body with the same abandon as those erstwhile priestesses of Bacchus. “I have never ceased to be madly in love,” Isadora wrote in her memoir My Life, a chronicle of her countless erotic encounters, as much as a narrative of her evolution as a dancer.  At twelve years old she read George Eliot’s Adam Bede and decided that she would “live to fight against…

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