Provenance: Provenance: Galleria Duemila, Makati City


This particular piece presents Isadora Duncan in the midst of what appears to be a graceful twirl, with the fabric of her costume gloriously in flight and in tune with her movement. A groundbreaking artist in her own right, Duncan revolutionized the world of dance, synthesizing traditional forms with modernist movements and rhythms. Because of her revolutionary style, Duncan became one of BenCab’s favorite muses, utilizing photographs and sketches of Duncan’s dances as a way to capture her form and movement. Inasmuch as Isadora is the character in this work, the flouncing and dynamic fabric that enshrouds the body of the acclaimed American dancer is also an important ally in emphasizing motion. BenCab uses the permissive nature of cloth in rendering the intensity of the dancer’s energy and movements. By all means, this is hardly the first time that we see the drama that emerges from BenCab’s drapery. Through his celebrated Sabel series, we witness the culmination of the dialogue between the body of a humble muse and her ragged, almost plastic clothing. While her sometimes visible limbs would give us traces of her gestures, it was her clothing that magnified them. In this painting of Isadora, we take on the role of an audience, bearing witness to more than just random gestures, but to the dance transpiring before us. BenCab unleashes the drapery, and immediately the work breathes life. The fabric floats, it itself in mid-dance as BenCab suspends these motions for us. A work like this one is certainly a result of the artist’s mastery, BenCab is able to isolate the grace that often melds with the dancer’s command of the technique. We are able to see the vitality expressed, the form and beauty, all of which, principles of Isadora Duncan’s artistic language