The only reason why Graham came under his "tutelage" was because St Denis considered her completely untalented and pawned her off on her husband, while she kept Doris Humphrey for herself. And I did say to Shawn's credit he recognised her burgeoning talent.
Shawn forbade her saying it was totally inappropriate and Graham responded "who'll ever know?"
Yes, I remember from the McDonagh how interesting that St. Denis was so dismissive of Graham, and he often pointed out how Graham idolized her. Finally, St. Denis grudgingly said something on the order of 'well, Martha Graham does have a real technique, I'll say that for her." (I don't have the book at hand, that's close enough unless rg has time to make it perfect. So Shawn was very important in terms of Graham. I didn't read the entire thread that carefully, but it wasn't that long ago I watched the snipped of St. Denis's own dancing, very brief, maybe what you linked up there, and maybe 12 or so St. Denis pieces, which I think Simon characterizes well as being 'superficial-Oriental'. I think most 'western orientalisms of the time were like that, weren't they, in all of the arts? Don't know whether you mentioned the Javanese and Balinese in the Graham Notebooks, Simon, maybe so, just adding to what you said about flexed foot of American Indians, although I can't remember if that's especially featured in 'El Pentitente' or not.
But it's also true that Shawn was the love of her life, which is sad as he most certainly could never love her sexually or romantically, and ultimately her downfall. Shawn isn't remembered with anything like the reverance or importance or St Denis.
No, that's not sad, it was her business. People love people for all sorts of ill-shaped reasons. His exhibitionism is of no importance, except it it CAUSED him to be an inferior artist. Nureyev was certainly an exhitionist (okay, I don't want to argue this, so STRAVINSKY referred to him that way). But what you said about his being of importance to Martha by default still holds, although obviously true St. Denis was lightweight in terms of that she was important more as a presursor to what came from her school.
Moreover, he wasn't the only one who made a legitimate career out of homosexual desire within the dance world. Dance, with its perceived looser morals has always been a magnet for sexual opportunists; but really what's so wrong with that? George Platt Lynes, probably one of the greatest dance photographers of all time was drawn to dance because he was gay, liked photographing naked men and dancers were more sexually liberated than laymen and more willing to get their kit off in the name of art. Ditto Lincoln Kirstein the greatest impresario since Diaghilev, sure he was educated, intellecutal and had an undoubted, profound love of ballet, but he also like sex and the dance and art worlds were a surefire way of having access to gay or sexually ambivalent young men.
Agree with you there, and you can't really understand Shawn without this material, it could be things like 'get their kit off'. you know. Okay, if you can use 'their kit', I guess I can use 'my kit' too. Although I do not want to use 'your kit'. Never heard THAT till now, you CORRUPTOR! Anyway, it IS silly season, a term I also never heard used till I came to Ballet Talk. But leonid probably just tired of hearing about endless 'hand relief' stories, you know what I mean? We've heard a LOT of things like that recently here.
I don't see why you're so tetchy about discussing the seedier side of people's motivations especially when like in the case of Ted Shawn, those sexual desires were indeed instrumental for the path their careers took. The DenisShawn school was a magnet for gay men, and Shawn famously took advantage of that, it makes his achievements or life no less than they were, but to suggest otherwise or that he was morally pure and devoted to St Denis is as false as Ruth's notion of spirtual enlightenment and the prefix of St before her surname.
It's not just the seedier side number, Simon, it's that you're VULGAR in the way you describe it, as in the Gold Rains Episode. (just kidding, of course, I don't mind it personally, but it's also true, you know you love to say these racy, screamy things.