Martha Graham Essay

888 WordsJun 12, 20134 Pages
Martha Graham Essay Throughout history, Modern Dance has been pioneered by inspirational choreographers such as Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham. Martha Graham in particular, revolutionised the dance industry with her numerous choreographed works. By experimenting with foreign movements and establishing the fundamental technique in Modern Dance, Martha Graham clearly expressed this dramatic dance style as a new form of life. Her style, created from raw emotion, challenges the technical barriers of traditional ballet and has evolved into today’s contemporary dance form. Born into a privileged life in 1894 near Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Graham was inspired from her father being a specialised physician interested in the way the human body…show more content…
At the time, women were often discriminated against not having the same power as men. Graham has used this theme to display the social inequality sending a message that men have been in control of women for centuries and that women need to break free. The males use dominating gestures throughout, with the blind-seer Tiresias, portraying power and purpose with the repetition of arabesque promenades and high levels. These foreign movements have expressed the themes in a dramatic way developed from her dance style. In this Greek themed performance, the women wore long black dresses with stripes down the side and crown-like head pieces. King Oedipus wears a simple black tunic revealing most of his body. Tiresias dresses in a black flowing coat, carries a wooden staff, and wears mask to show he is blind. Tiresias uses this wooden staff to indicate his wisdom and this symbolizes truth. The silk rope used to hang Queen Jacosta symbolises the connection to Oedipus from birth til death. The music is an extension to the dancers and enhances this performance dramatically. Wild, fierce and harsh would be a way to describe William Schumann’s dynamic instrumental score. The dancers reacted with the music emotionally as well as physically increasing the overall effect of the performance. This choreographic style has allowed modern dance to communicate life’s emotions through drama intertwining with physical movement and
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