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April 26, 1985 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-04-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, April 26, 1985

32

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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BACK PAGE

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Continued from Page 88

Earl Robinson) for many of the
early performances.
"Woody was in Folksay for
many years. In fact, I think he
was in it longer than anyone
else," said Maslow. "I'd always
have this underneath nervous
feeling about Woody not show-
ing up for a performance,
though, because he'd told me
once that, when he felt like
getting up and leaving town —
he got up and left town. But he
was always there forFolksay."

the annual Chanukah festi-
vals at Madison Square Gar-
den; Celebration, created for
the YM-YWHA in 1954; and
Anniversary, a work whose
theme is "the Wall," and
which was' first performed in
1956.
Maslow, who says dancing
was always "the only thing I
ever really wanted to do,"
began studying dance as a
child, with Blanche Talmud in
New York. Shortly after high

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In addition to Folksay, Mas-
low's affinity for folk songs
was reflected in other works
she created, including her first
choreographed piece, Themes
From A Slavic People (1934),
based on Hungarian folk
music, and the recent Woody
Sez, done in 1980.
Maslow, born in New York
City of Russian-Jewish par-
ents, has also, in the course of
her career, choreographed a
number of dance pieces in-
spired by Jewish folk tales and
music.
"My mother sang folk songs
in a chorus — Russian and
Jewish folk songs," she said.
"And, for as long as I can re-
member, I've had a strong
interest in folk music of all
kinds. It wasn't until the end
of World War II that I felt the
need to do anything Jewish in
my dancing, 'though. And
then, what had happened to
the Jews during the war was
much too overpowering for me
to assimilate and put into
dance at first."
In 1950, however, inspired
by a Sholem Aleichem story,
she created what some dance
authorities regard as one of
her best works, The Village I
Knew.
Since then, Maslow has
choreographed a number of
other works with Jewish
themes, including dances for

school, she began choreog-
raphic work at the Neighbor-
hood Playhouse, where she
eventually became a featured
dancer in Graham's company.
"I performed Themes From
A Slavic People — solo — in
Graham's studio when she
presented some of her corn-
pany members doing their
own dances," said Maslow. "At
that time, there was nothing
to dance in modern dance un-
less you did your own. You see,
it wasn't as if you went to bal-
let classes and learned varia-
tions from Swan Lake or Nut-
cracker or something like that.
If you wanted to dance, you
had to make up a dance, be-
cause it was not in the tradi-
tion of modern dance at that
time to teach anybody a dance.
You went into a class, and you
learned technique. So, I made
up Themes."
Maslow emphasized that
many choreographed pieces in
modern dance are even today
still not formally notated.
Most-of her dances, she said,
have never been notated, al-
though Folksay is an excep-
tion.
"I take notes, but they're in
my own 'language,' and prob-
ably no one would understand
them, except me," she said.
"I've never been trained in
dance notation." She pointed

Continued on Page 34

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