Biography of Martha Graham Essay example

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Biography of Martha Graham Martha Graham was known as the mother of American dance. She was born on May 11, 1894 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. At fourteen she moved with her family to California and began dancing. The first dance recital she saw was in Los Angeles, California by choreographer and dance pioneer, Ruth St. Denis. When Graham was twenty-two years old she joined the Denishawn school and dance troupe. The school of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn had a great impact on Graham’s idea of dance. Graham used different dance traditions in her works to create a Neo-classical dance style. She believed that “movement originated in the tension of a contracted muscle and continued in the flow of energy released from…show more content…
In this, she played a virgin, who represented the independent woman. She danced in Primitive Mysteries after she visited the American Southwest in 1931. Graham’s interest in the American theme began after the dance. After Primitive Mysteries she continued to stick with the American theme. The most influential American themed dances were Appalachian Spring, American Document and Frontier. The American Document was a dance that used the Bible as well as the Declaration of Independence as inspiration. There was more speaking in this show than in any other. The narrator spoke alternate lines from the sermons of the Bible. The narrator also spoke about American History including passages from The Declaration of Independence. Appalachian Spring was one of her most famous shows. The American Theme is portrayed in this dance, through the marriage of an American couple, beginning their lives together on the American Frontier. The dance was popular when it was introduced to the public and is still known as one of her best pieces today. The Frontier was the first of the American Theme. It was a solo performance choreographed and danced by Graham. The Frontier was the first time she used Isamu Noguchi to sculpt her set. It was the first time a sculptor was used in modern dance. The set he designed captured the vastness of the American Frontier. Graham was not the only dancer and choreographer of her time. Alwin Nikolais

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