The Arts

Memorial Tribute Performance for Hortense Kooluris

by Paula Citron

For almost 70 years, American Hortense Kooluris was an Isadora Duncan dancer and a direct link to the Isadorables, the six adopted daughters of the pioneer of modern dance. The Isadorables carried on Isadora’s choreography and teachings.

Toronto happens to have a strong Kooluris connection. Her daughter Linda and her husband Kildare Dobbs live here, as does Isadora historian and dancer Paul-James Dwyer. It was Dwyer who put together the very moving tribute to Kooluris, who passed away in Feb. I certainly had tears in my eyes watching the video that panned through Kooluris’ glittering career.

The concert featured Adrienne Ramm and Gemze de Lappe from New York, Reiko Morita from Japan, and Dwyer performing actual Isadora dances as well as homage choreography. There is something precious about the flimsy Greek tunics and head wreaths of the Isadora aesthetic, but the joyous freedom of the movement is where modern dance all began, and that is to be treasured.

From Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.

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