Martha Graham Essay On Dance

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Martha Graham is a one of the many 20th century important dancer and she’s also the mother of modern dance. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 11 1894. Her teen years she studied dance in Los Angeles. Where she studied was at Denishawn. In 1926 she then had her own dance company in New York City. Martha still was dancing when she was 60 and she also choreographed. In the Autobiography by Victoria Phillips Martha Graham saids this about her Autobiography, “I am not out to make a preach about my life. Some of it has been wonderful and I’ve been very, very fortunate some of it I regret. The things which are, perhaps, too private to ever reveal—one refuses to reveal.” (Phillips 65). She was influenced by her father George Graham. He was a doctor who was a specialist in nervous disorders. He had an idea about the body which was the body could express its inner senses. This idea was very fascinating to his daughter Martha (“Martha Graham Bio”). When she was 17 she saw a performance called Ruth St. Denis at the opera house in Los Angeles. She also was a Presbyterian and because of this her parents would not allow her to study dance (“Martha Graham”). The first years were spent in Allegheny, which she described as dark, grimy, and excessively puritanical in its attitudes—so much so that dancing was viewed as sinful and forbidden to her (Needham). After her father died she went she went to Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts which was a junior college. This is where she spent her 8 years or more where she was a student but she was also an instructor (“Martha Graham Bio”). She got to work with Ted Shawn which was where she improved her dance techniques and also where she began dancing as a professional. Ted Shawn p... ... middle of paper ... ...ed to cry but just couldn’t. However, when she saw Graham’s performance of “Lamentation” it made her able to release the sorrow and tension she had for her son. This is a great example of how her works help people. In 1944 her other performance Appalachian Spring premiered at the Library of Congress, while the score by Aaron Copland which was originally titled “Ballet for Martha” this won the Pulitzer Prize the following year (Phillips 65). Many critics however, said her dances were “ugly” but she still gained the respect from other people through the years (“Martha Graham Bio”). In 1937 she was the very first modern dancer to perform at the White House. By the late 1950s, Graham had reached star status among both the intelligentsia and the public. In 1932, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation had awarded Graham an unprecedented fellowship in dance (Phillips 65).
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