Isadora Duncan Reinvents Dance
Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco in 1877. She took to dance as a youngster.
Finding ballet too rigid, she developed her own style, dancing barefoot in simple tunics with long, colorful scarves. As a teenager, she performed in Chicago and New York, but truly began captivating audiences after taking to the stage in Europe at the turn of the century. She became heralded as the Mother of Modern Dance.
Her personal life raised eyebrows as well, as a bisexual, socialist and advocate of women’s rights.
She exchanged affectionate letters with poet Mercedes de Acosta during a lengthy affair. Duncan once wrote, “Mercedes, lead me with your little strong hands and I will follow you– to the top of a mountain.
To the end of the world. Wherever you wish.”
A Rainbow From Sea to Sea
In 2003, Gilbert Baker, the creator of the original rainbow flag back in 1978, was commissioned to produce a giant rainbow flag for the 25th anniversary of the flag itself. Because hot pink was finally available for flag production again, the flag was restored to its original 8 colors for its Silver Anniversary unfurling. Those colors included hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet.
Dubbed “Rainbow 25 Sea to Sea,” the 16 foot wide flag, a mile and a quarter long, was displayed in Key West, Florida on June 15, 2003. Over 3,000 volunteers held the flag, which ran the length of Duval Street from the Atlantic Ocean at one end to the Gulf of Mexico on the other.
At the time, it was deemed the world’s longest flag.
The Creators of Big Bird
It took two creative minds to create Sesame Street’s Big Bird. Jim Henson provided the sketch and Kermit Love designed and constructed the 8-foot-2-inch Big Bird costume. The bird was covered in turkey feathers, dyed primrose-yellow, which were attached upside down to give him a slightly ruffled appearance.
Kermit Love devised a mechanism that allowed Big Bird to drop a few feathers at will. Sometimes, he even appeared on Sesame Street playing Willy the Hot Dog Man.
Since Big Bird became one of the world’s most beloved children’s characters, he earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
In 2008, Kermit Love died of congestive heart failure. He was survived by his partner of 50 years, Christopher Lyall.
Big Bird, of course, lives on.
“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 4:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Va and webcast at wrir.org.