Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things Loved That Are Not Worn: Martha Graham

Things Loved That Are Not Worn will be a section of the blog where I (as the title suggests) simply highlight something on our lovely planet that I am completely in love with, despite not being a piece of clothing. There are so many fabulous things in life that I simply cannot limit myself to clothing alone (although it is definitely one of the greats).

First up, the genius that is Martha Graham. Martha Graham is a modern dancer from the middle decades of the 20th century. She began dancing ballet and was good enough to be a professional but was told that she was too ugly for ballet. With that, she threw somewhat of a fit (oh I love her) and joined modern instead where she was one of the first to develope a set technique for modern. (I do not claim that all of this is absolute fact. I'm just rehashing what my dance teacher has told my class, and she likes to stretch the truth a lot).
What makes me love Martha Graham over the other modern dance choreographers is , for lack of a better term, the ugliness of her dance. The movement is very hard and strong and based on the idea of contractions. I just love the idea of taking such non-conventionaly beautiful movement and making it as lovely and profoundly meaningful as she did.
This is my favorite dance that I've seen from her called Night Journey Chorus. Before I saw this dance, I thought her dances were just ugly and stupid, but this completely changed my mind.
Since I was three, all I've ever danced was ballet and lyrical but modern has completely changed my outlook on what dance can be. Now, it's just about all I can choreograph! Last semester, for my school's beginng and intermediate dance concert (I'm in intermediate), I was one of three choreographers in my class to have a piece. The other two were lyrical and mine was a hard core Graham piece called "Pertimescebam" which is Latin for "very frightened." It was done to Krystof Penderecki's "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" which is the only  music that would have done anyway!
I know it isn't professional or anything and we're not exactly together on every part since the music is IMPOSSIBLE to tell where you are with, but I am extremely proud of it!

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