Creation Isadora

Creation Isadora

Isadora by Philippe Honoré

staged by: Maria Cristina Madau

Edith Vernes
Simona Maïcanescu
Serge Avedikian

music: Alexander Balanescu

video installation: Maria Cristina Madau

lights: Jean-Luc Chanonat

production et post production vidéo: Zon Video – Cagliari


ISADORA DUNCAN … ..What does this name still evoke today?

A spectacular accident, a death as horrible as premature: her shawl caught in the axle of a Bugatti, strangled … ..?

A famous dancer who is hard to put on the map …?

This is very little to go on, considering we know that she was a revolutionary artist (contemporary dance has found its sources in Isadora’s brilliant intuition), a free woman, committed to her cause, wielding paradoxes like nobody’s business (both wealthy and fervent communist), the muse of an entire intellectual society in turmoil (Cocteau, Rodin, Bataille, Stravinsky …. the list is impressive), but also a human being profoundly marked by fate (she sees her three children perish and all around her death practices its taunts until he life too is claimed.

A character worthy of ancient even biblical tragedies, both muse and Madonna, Clytemnestra and Jezebel, how could one not be tempted to bring this extraordinary life to a stage, since everything in ISADORA is intimately and infinitely theatrical.

We chose to depart from a chronological biography and to seek only to trace a fate, be it chaotic, sublime, but also funny and heartbreaking. During the show one witnesses a series of downfalls and rebirths, that is life in all its complexity.

ISADORA is surrounded by three men in her life (played by the same actor) and her loyal friend, Mary. Each character evokes her in their own way, for they may not have met the very same woman at the same time. An utterly kaleidoscopic reconstruction of an utterly universal trajectory.

ISADORA is us.

Philippe Honoré is director and scriptwriter since 1984

He has made over twenty theatrical adaptations re-writing novels for the stage (Dostoevsky, Proust, Gide, Sagan, Bruckner, Fassbinder, Duras, Gary …)

He was theater director in the Jura and in the Yvelines.

He has published two novels, “The Prodigal Mother” (On The Waterfront) and “The Sense of Duty”


He opened a bookstore in 2011.



I never met Isadora Duncan and yet she changed my life …!

A few great historical female figures initiated profound changes in the society of their time, and Isadora was one of them. Isadora’s life marks a turning point and creates a point of no return in the history of dance and art in general. Indeed, she broke taboos, she fascinated and shocked the intelligentsia of the time; she is the living proof of a female emancipation model. Free in body and soul, Isadora yields to no compromise either in her personal life or in her art. Deeply inspired, she donated her life to art, research and teaching.


She changes the rules of the dance. Isadora believes that Dance is not a sequence of steps, skips and spins, but rather an energy, a vital breath that must dwell inside the body and be free to express all its own emotions and all those emotions that come to us from NATURE.

Like all visionary artists around her (Rodin, Picasso, Cocteau, Graig and others) she anticipates history and undertakes an artistic change towards a new world. She made her life witness this change. “ISADORA DANCES JUST AS SHE BREATHES” said Rodin.

Both woman and Myth, she lives her great sexual freedom with the recklessness and purity of childhood. In search of true love, she experinces great passions with all kinds of men as well as with men who make history; Yet none of them manage to understand or unravel the mystery that is Isadora.


The testimony of ISADORA’s life brought to us by those who loved her allows us to make her more human, to set aside the myth and to recognize her as this woman she always wanted to be;

“I AM A WOMAN, JUST A WOMAN” she cried.

On stage, a metal framework represents an installation that creates a play of transparencies by means of painted canvases, videos and objects with multiple functions …

By exploiting these different art forms, one seeks a dialogue between body, speech and visual art. This formal choice in the manner of a “Total Art” from evokes the artistic movements that had saw the light in ISADORA’s time.

In this space, the actors move around creating several layers of interpretation;

The first level is the space of testimony and memory inside which MARY, Isadora’s  secretary-friend and confidante develops.

The second is the space of action, dialogue and of life. It is the center of the installation where Isadora evolves with the other characters.

The third is the space of inaccessibility, remoteness and death. The space in which the men take shape – Gordon Craig, Paris Singer and Sergei Yesenin, all three played by the same actor. Through this performance, we shall try to reveal how the gestures and the existence of ISADORA DUNCAN has transformed not only the lives of her contemporaries but also our own ….

Maria Cristina Madau was born in Cagliari in Italy and graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. Her training is marked by the theater, visual arts and contemporary dance. She worked as a collaborator and chorographer with directors of international renown such as Savary, Besson, Oida in some of the most important international theaters in Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Milan, Rome, Venice, Strasbourg. She was responsible for the staging of theater and opera plays, from Bizet’s Carmen, The No. 11 bus by Peter Maxwell Davies, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Salome by Oscar Wilde, Algiers the White by Kebir Ammi, the Tournement of discord, a Poliart show with texts by Jacques Attali, Jean Baudrillard, Massimo Bavastro, Salvatore Niffoi, and Valèrie Novarina. She is dedicated to theater research, and has produced documentary films, short films, videos, as well as several multidisciplinary creations.

In the role of Isadora

Edith Vernes began her career under the direction of Patrice Chéreau (“Hamlet”) then she met Christophe Lidon who entrusted her with several major roles (“Andromache”, “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” “Silk Eyes”). She also performed under the direction of Jean Reno, Etienne Bierry (“Managers”) and Beata Nilska (“The bug” and most recently “Discourse on Happiness”). Edith meets Maria Cristina Madau with “Salome” by Oscar Wilde. She authored her first production by staging Ionesco’s “Delirium for Two”; she is also very interested in teaching and created “Studio Alembic” an actor’s workshop that she has directed since 2005.

In the role of Mary

Simona Maïcanescu was born in Craiova, Romania. It becomes a resident performer at the National Theatre in Bucharest. Following a Franco-Romanian cooperation, presented at the Avignon Festival, she moved to the Odeon Theatre in 1994 and has worked with Sophie Loukachevsky, Jean-François Peyret, Hemleb Lucas and André Wilms. She has never left France, where she has enjoyed a rich and varied career in both film and theater. In 2003, she met Lars Norén and performed in his play War directed by the author. Their collaboration continues with Stagnant Waters in 2007 and continues today with Fever.

In the role of Gordon Craig, Paris Singer, Sergei Yesenin
Serge Avedikian was a student at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Meudon, works with students of the Paris circuit and performs in many plays from both classical and modern repertoire. In 1976, he founded a theater company and directed several plays. In 1982 he began making documentaries while pursuing his acting work in film and theater. In 1988, he founded his own production company and produced personal films. Meanwhile, he continued acting in theater, film and television. Since 2000 he has devoted more time to acting in both theater and cinema and has continued to make films with the cooperation of other producers.