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Alexandra

What's your favorite Graham?

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Reading the reviews on the Graham thread made me want to see a mammoth Graham Festival.

What are your nominations? What are your favorite Graham works?

I think my very favorite is "Primitive Mysteries" which I saw in the revival, which everyone older said was half of what it once had been, because the dancers were more balletic, slighter in every way than the original dancers, but which I absolutely adored. Nancy Goldner wrote a review of it in The Nation back in 1978, I think, which is one of the finest reviews I've ever read. Her writing captured the rhythm on the dance. Reading her piece out loud was like talking "Primitive Mysteries."

I think "Night Journey" is a perfect work -- I fiirst watched it on video when I was also watching a video of Ashton's "The Dream" and the pas de deux are very similar, not in form, but in feeling; they're both power struggle duets, and they're both conversations, and it's fascinating to see two masters deal so differently with similar material.

I'd also be very happy if someone discovered the Secret Films of a Graham Fan, of someone who had taken a camera to every one of those early nights at the Y when she would unveil an entire evening of new work.

Welcome back, Martha.

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I'm a Night Journey fan myself, and the film of it is really a good introduction to it. It is commercially available (if you get it on Amazon, click on the link at the top of the page!); one of the things I really like about it is that it shows that Graham could choreograph not just for individuals, but for a corps. Of the pieces the company did last year at the gala at City Center, nothing held up better.

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