Brahms — Waltz in B flat major, Op. 39, No. 8 (Seagull)

Reconstructed by Hortense Kooluris and Julia Levien.

Notes

Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck

Reference: Nahumck, Nadia Chilkovsky. Isadora Duncan: The Dances. Washington DC: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1994.

Waltz No. 8 conjures images of Percy Bysshe Shelley's To a Sky-lark, Ralph Waldo Emerson's The Rhodora or Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space. It has the feel of a sea breeze and the sweep of gentle air currents. Students have subtitled this dance Seagull and Floating. Extemporaneous in appearance, the dance is deceptively simple. It consists of continuing circular paths which move clockwise and counterclockwise, shifting forward or backward in centrifugal and centripetal curves. Changes in direction are so subtle that they are unobserved until they have occurred. In measure 17 there is a mere suggestion of a wide-winged bird pausing for an instant to peer down as though from a great height. A slow intake of breath in the last four measures extends the illusion of a bird hovering in air. The dance ends only because the music ends.

Videos

Title Date Dancers Full Dance? Notes
Dances by Isadora Boston: Seagull 2014 Irene Lutts Yes
DFI Cunningham 1980 Adrienne Ramm Yes
Sylvia performs Seagull Sylvia Gold Yes
Isadora Duncan Repertory Dance Company performs Seagull Yes
Isadora Duncan Repertory Dance Company performs Brahms waltzes 1, 4, 8 Yes

Related items in the Archives

The San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design > Programs > Isadora Duncan — Nov 25, 1917

The San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design > Programs > Maria-Theresa Duncan — Heritage Group — Feb 24, 1979

The Collection of Mignon Garland > Programs > S.F. Duncan Dancers, Program of Duncan-Brahms Waltzes — 1983

The Collection of Mignon Garland > Programs > S.F. Duncan Dancers, Dance Recital — 1984

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Riverside Dance Festival — Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — Jan 05, 1978

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Three Full Length Masterworks — Maria-Theresa Duncan — Heritage Dance Company — 1979

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Riverside Dance Festival — Isadora Duncan Commemorative Dance Company — Jan 24, 1979

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Starry Night — Barbara Kane — Dec 20, 1991

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