Best Books on Martha GrahamRecommendations, please
Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:13 PM
Mel? Sandik? Alexandra? Anyone? Please tell me the best, as I am really inspired by her extraordinary genius more and more as I watch the old films and remember what I've seen live of the company in recent years (although I never saw Martha herself live, I adore the films of 'Night Journey' and 'Appalachian Spring' with her dancing).
Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:17 PM
Martha Graham’s Dancers Remember, by Robert Tracy
The Agnes De Mille biography. It is highly opinionated, to put it mildly, but it is well written like everything else by De Mille, and by one who was there.
The collection of photographs, “Martha Graham,” by Barbara Morgan.
Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:20 PM
Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:54 PM
1. this 'late' so-called autobiography is thin, but has MG's 'voice' more or less:
Blood memory / Martha Graham. 1st ed.
New York : Doubleday, 1991
2. The first? actual biography written when MG was still working and when it is said she asked some people not to cooperate w/the author but it has a good grasp of the early facts of her career:
Martha Graham; a biography.
New York, Praeger [c1973]
341 p. illus. 24 cm.
3. This is a jumble of material from MG's own notebooks; it's real drawback is no annotation but it's got MG's voice through and through, including reproductions of her actual, inimitable handwriting:
The notebooks of Martha Graham; with an introd. by Nancy Wilson Ross.
New York, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich 
 p. on 27 l. illus. 28 x 36 cm.
Posted 06 October 2008 - 06:14 PM
I was just thinking about having visited the incredibly beautiful and rarefied Noguchi Museum in Astoria in 2000. I had no idea that I'd see Jocasta's chair there. It's surely the original, isn't it? I just now watched 'Night Journey' again, and the way this complex and horribly beautiful structure is used is just indescribably. I think the rocking chair from 'Appalachian Spring' is there, too, but I'm not sure and have decided to go out there again in the next few weeks.
I like what you say about 'Martha's voice', because this voice is so moving in all its forms. In the 1976 Dance in America, the way she talks about 'Adoration' is deeply affecting, holy even; and just as much so aswhen she is talking about the woman in Brooklyn who came up to her after seeing 'Lamentation.' Right now I'm stuck on 'Diversion of Angels', and have to keep watching it over and over, and love DelloJoio's music too. This 'desire to memorize' a work has always been a sign for me of the works I most cared about, whether in literature, music or dance. I have 2 tapes of it right now, and they don't seem to be exactly the same. One is the Dance in America with Martha's introductions to each piece, and the other is from 1991 at Palais Garnier, shortly after her death. It may have been the dancers, but at this point of watching them only 3 or 4 times each, I am somewhat more taken with the 1991 one. But the McDonagh is going to help too.
Posted 06 October 2008 - 07:50 PM
Posted 07 October 2008 - 03:46 AM
Posted 09 October 2008 - 05:34 PM
Posted 09 October 2008 - 05:50 PM
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