When She Danced


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Martin Sherman

Published by Samuel French Ltd

3 Male 5 Female

Set in 1923 in Paris, the play focuses on Duncan's desperate attempts to keep herself financially afloat so that she can realize the dream of her retirement years: to open a school in Italy where she can teach young dancers her art

She must deal with her mercurial Russian poet husband he only speaks Russian, of which she has not a word and various acolytes, who take turns during scene breaks describing what it was like when she danced

All the roles are very challenging; but none more so than the central role of Isadora Duncan, played in New York by Elizabeth Ashley

"A fascinating play.... A comic portrait of a Bohemian salon in both joy and extremis, as the calling of high art meets the low farce of insistent creditors, ludicrous lovers and unexpected guests. The very inexplicability of Isadora's art becomes ... a stirring emblem of its mysterious power to endure ~ N.Y. Times

"The mixture of flamboyant fun with a dead serious view of art's place in our grudging and somber century, skillfully brought off, makes When She Danced Sherman's best play to date" ~ 7 Days

"A remarkable play" ~ New Yorker

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