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Transcript of Martha Graham
Graham went from beginner to expert at Dennishawn. She got her big break with Ted Shawn. She was a leading dancer in his works
and even dueted with him in
and many others.
She did not always want to be a dancer. After seeing her Ruth St Dennis perform, she was inspired to study dance.
Who is she?
Martha Graham is widely known for her work as a dancer along with progressive collabortions with other dancers and choreographers. She is known as the mother of Modern dance.
Her family, mainly her father, did not approve of her becoming a dancer due to religious reason.
Her father eventually died and soon after she began to study dance. She studied at Denishawn school of dancing and related arts.
Early days at Dennishawn
After leaving Dennishawn, She moved to Greenwich village follies in NYC. The follies is known as an artistic haven due to its frequent host of vaudeville shows. Graham was featured in a lot of solo acts. This is the time where she had ample freedom to create.
Graham as an Instructor
The groundwork began for her dance company at Eastman school of music. Here she used a lot of experimental techniques. She used her best pupils to get the point across. Heavily foccussing on the movements that ballet did not permit.
-Graham's technique began in the mind.
-She worked with what she called contraction and release, pelvis and emotions.
-Ex: contraction= pulling back and curving torso
Release= Straigtening the torso
Her movements were sharp and angular, and could be described as spastic.
- She believed every movement started from within.
- They were not graceful as in the style of ballet but meant to make you emote. In many ways, She was revolting from ballet
- Her movement were centered in dramatic, tension laden ways. This is called the Graham technique.
- She also responded to the themes of daily human life. A lot of her work over the years came about due to struggles in the world at the time.
What made her style stand out?
Martha Graham's impact
A look at her Major works.
- One of her earlier works
- explored the idea of
American expansions, exploration and similar themes.
-She worked along side artist s to create the set/setting of the dance
-One of her most popular works
-Commissioned Aaron Copland to write a score specifically for her work.
-Isamu Noguchi designed her set again.
-featured her !st male dancer.
-derived from minestral shows
addressed many historical points.
"What is an American?"
-over 181 brilliant works
-she gave a voice to women, when before her the voice had been given to men.
-renown school and dance company
- rigorous technique and extensive vocabulary for modern dance.
- Graham is an inspiration for choreographers, filmakers, and dancers alike.