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Dance Heritage Coalition

Administrative Information Table of Contents Scope and Content Note

Duncan (Irma) Papers, 1905-1977

- Biographical History

Biographical History

Irma Duncan was born Irma Dorette Henriette Ehrich-Grimme on February 26, 1897, in Schleswig-Holstein near Hamburg. Becoming a pupil of Isadora Duncan in January 1905 at her Grunewald school near Berlin, her name was legally changed to Irma Duncan in 1917. Along with Isadora's five other original pupils, she became an adopted daughter.

In 1918 these six formed an independent group known as the Isadora Duncan Dancers. Irma's debut as such occurred at Carnegie Hall on June 27 of that year.

In 1921 she accompanied Isadora to Russia to found, at the government's invitation, a school of dance. Irma served as a teacher in Moscow for seven years making her solo debut there on April 29, 1923. After Isadora's death in 1927 until 1930, she directed the Moscow school. She toured with her students to Europe and to the United States (the latter during the 1928-1929 and 1929-1930 seasons). When her group, known as the Isadora Duncan Dancers of Moscow, were forced to return to Russia, Irma chose to remain in the United States.

Duncan became a U.S. citizen in 1935. She married Sherman S. Rogers, a New York attorney, on September 19, 1935. She authored several books on Isadora Duncan and her technique.

Irma Duncan Rogers died on September 20, 1977.


Administrative Information Table of Contents Scope and Content Note