Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora: Retrograde Universe – Danspace Project
View all

Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora: Retrograde Universe

Community ACCESS provides subsidized off-season rental opportunities for Danspace Project community members.

Click here to watch a trailer for Retrograde Universe

Retrograde Universe is the title of a new world premiere and this special evening by Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora, both led by Artistic Director and Choreographer Catherine GallantRetrograde Universe includes four pieces by Gallant and three Isadora Duncan works. Duncan works include a historical re-animation of Duncan’s Beethoven No. 7, which has not been performed since 1979, Three Scriabin Etudes, danced by Kristen Foote of the Limón Company on opening night, and Valse Brillante. Gallant’s Retrograde UniverseFinally, The Secret and Meeting #12 complement these works with an evening of dance that is both inspired and collaborative.

This program opens with Gallant’s very first work, The Secret, a duet created in 1980 under the guidance of then-teacher, 20th century dance master, Anna Sokolow, which is accompanied by pianist Yegor Shetsov. Gallant’s world premiere work Retrograde Universe, a contemporary work for an ensemble of four, uses indeterminate structures to investigate the fragility and uncertainty of the material world. Video projection by Nadia Lesy provides a sound and visual score of crumpling paper and images of flight to personify a world of imagined reality and a seemingly fraught future.

As films or notation of Isadora Duncan’s dances were not made until long after her death in 1927, Duncan’s choreography has been preserved through the teaching of one generation of Duncan dancers to the next, with the interpretation of phrases and physicality. In 2011, Gallant began to explore Duncan’s work to the Beethoven No. 7 (Allegretto and Presto movements), and has now re-imagined this 108-year old work for the stage. Gallant and an ensemble of 10 dancers have spent the last year enlivening this piece for contemporary audiences. This re-staging features seasoned dancers as well as the company’s next generation of Isadora dancers.


Catherine Gallant, has been creating for dance in traditional venues and alternative sites for more than 30 years. Ms. Gallant has received funding for her choreography from the Harkness Foundation for Dance, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Trust, among others. She holds a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory and an MFA from Temple University. Catherine leads workshops for the Dance Education Laboratory and is a NYCDOE Dance Educator.

Dances by Isadora‘s mission is to share the history of dance as an art form with a contemporary audience through the presentation and teaching of the work of modern dance pioneer, Isadora Duncan (1877-1927). The company is also dedicated to the growth of new work which comments on history and culture while making connections from past to present with an eye to future innovation. Dances by Isadora is committed to educating audiences/students of all ages through touring its educational programs and performances.

Dances by Isadora is a non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to the preservation of the repertoire and technique of Isadora Duncan while creating programming which includes historic and contemporary dance. The group received its name in 1986 when arts administrator, Alan Casso produced the companies first public performance in Boston. Since then Dances by Isadora has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MIT Council on the Arts, Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Bossak/Heilbron Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts and City Parks Foundation. In performanceDances by Isadora honors Duncan’s original choreography while retaining the vitality and vibrant physicality of the movement. As no films or notation of Isadora’s dances were made until long after her death in 1927, Duncan’s choreography has been preserved through the teaching of one generation of Duncan dancers to the next.  Since 1986 Dances by Isadora has reached out to diverse audiences through the medium of performance and educational workshops informing and inspiring future generations.

Skip to content