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October 20, 1994 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-20

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

The Sequel
Okay, so two weeks ago I wrote a
column about dating and I asked read-
Ors to respond with dating stories of
their own. You guys did a great job
getting back to me. I can tell from the
amount of e-mail I got that this topic
really hit home with many of you.
Some of you said I sound bitter
and should get over of it. Others of
you assured me that there are still
some "wonderful" men out there wait-
ing for me. While the rest of you told
4e how you could relate or gave me
advice on how to go about the whole

One Hundred Years of Magic with Martha
A celebration of one of America's modern dance legends leaps into Ann Arbor

by Liz Shaw

"Every dance is a kind
of fever, a graph of the
heart"
-Martha Graham A
(1894-1991)

around the core of ones body. This
included mostly the stationary place-
ment of the spine with the arms and
legs moving outward.
from the body. a
great deal of
flexed feet and
asymmetrical
movement. The

dating fiasco.
First of all, I would like to thank
everyone who took the time to mes-
ge me. I'm glad you are reading my
olumn and are trying to help me with
another one. So without further ado, I
would like to share some of the mail
I received.
My first response came from Karen
who told me her romantic story about
how she met Orson. They met at
Cornell in a writing class and began to
see each other. They would go to
assical concerts (Karen remembers
eryone and who was playing) and
dinners but were only friends at the
time. After a few months, they began
to get serious and develop a relation-
ship. Now they are married and living
a blissful life together.
Karen had this advice for me: "I
definitely think it takes a long time to
get to know someone, and that love
should ideally develop out of friend-
ip. It also takes luck." This is good
dvice and I hope it works.
Not everyone was as optimistic
about love and dating as Karen, how-
ever. In fact, many of the responses I
got were quite negative. It seems that
plenty of you out there have had the
standard bad date or jerk experience.
Leah wrote to tell me about a guy
who tried to pick up both her and her
iend on the same day with the same
homework line. Needless to say,
se doesn't sound too keen on men at
the moment.
Someone forwarded me a portion
of a confer where men from around
the country who talk about how hard
it is to meet women. Mostly it con-
sists of talk of rejection and how to
deal with it. There were many stories
about how confusing women are and
w we don't deal with men very
well. The term "fake phone numbers"
came up quite a lot. Would we women
ever give out false information?
This whole confer idea strikes me
as a bit sad. I mean, why would you
want advice from complete strang-
ers? I don't know. I think I'm just not
into the information highway thing
yet. But if it works for these guys,
eat. I just wonder if they use the
'nfer as an excuse not to meet actual
people to date.
I also received mail from some
homosexual people who were upset
that they were not explicitly included
in my last column. This was not my
intent. I merely wanted to talk about
dating in general and I don't think
most people are doing it so that's
what I said. It just so happens that my
#perience is with men. But, I apolo-
gize for leaving people out.
So, what's the point? I mean if you
have a significant other, dating isn't
really all that necessary. There is no
risk involved because you are already
a couple. It doesn't matter who makes
the phone call or if you say just the
right thing because you're already
committed.
It seems to me that it is that thing
at two randoms do that is risky.
Why put yourself on the line when
you can ask a friend to dinner or hang
out with a group and hook up later?
But after two weeks of people
telling me their dating woes and suc-
cesses, I've come to two conclusions.

Martha
A century of style
and technique hasp
passed since the birth
and death of dance-
great Martha Graham.
A century where she
was one of the single
greatest contributors, whether
it was through her choreography, her
commissioned art works for sets or
the musical pieces used to accom-
pany her masterpieces. Martha Gra-
ham was an explosion on the art world,
not just the dance world, a concept
which is highlighted by the residency
and the Martha Graham Centenary
Festival "In the American Grain,"
celebrating her 100 years of influence
and the 50 year anniversary of her
premiere performance of "Appalacian
Spring" for the Library of Congress
in. 1944.
Martha Graham blossomed into a
dancer at the considerable late age of
22. She got her start with the
Denishawn Company in Los Angeles
where she made her professional de-
but in "Xochitl" in 1920. It was just
six years later that she was success-
fully launched into the dance world
and founded the Dance Repertory
Theater in New York City. In
fact, in 1932 she became the ;
first dancer to receive a
Guggenheim fellowship.
Graham's intense style
of movement an incor-
poration of a great
deal of emotion in
her choreography /'
set her apart from
many of the
other pro-
fessionals
of her
time. While
other choreogra-
phers worked with the airy, flowing
movement of ballet, she considered
the movements unnatural and strived
to create a technique based on normal
human movement. This resulted in a
very angular and considerably differ-
ent look for her pieces.
Many of the movement in the Gra-
ham technique were based on the con-
cept of contraction and release, where
the movements one makes revolve

nue
ments
r e -
quired
a great
deal of
emotion
and she
taught her
dancers to
incorpo-
rate more
feel i ng
into the

move-
ment and
allow the
feelings be-
hind the move-
ments to guide
them.
"To dance a Gra-
ham piece required an
emotional commitment,
along with a knowledge of
theatrics, of mythology," accord-
ing to Peter Sparling, a former
member of the Graham Company
(1973-1987) who is presently teach-
ing at the U School of Dance.
Mythology worked its way into a
great deal of her pieces as she looked
to retell old tales through her dancing.
"Clytemnestra" (1958) was Graham's
first full-length work, about the tor-
ment of the wife of Agamemnon and
her subsequent murder of him. Later
works such as "Phaedra" (1962), "Ar-
chaic Hour" (1969), and "Acts of
Light" (1981) continued in the same
tradition of exploring these early tales
in a modern light.
"I look at Martha's works the same
way I look at modem literature or
film. The same way I look at Hitchcock
or Orson Wells," Sparling said. "Into
her choreography she would have

flashback, suspended
time, plot reversals.
She rearranged a plot g
just as a film director
would."
Graham commis-
sioned a great deal
of work for her
dances which
brought
her into
contact
with great art-
ists from many
other fields. She
worked with artist/sculptor
Isamu Noguchi on 22 of her
dances, allowing his
to create the
w o n d e r o u s
works of
art that she
used as her sets and
backdrops. She always used
props sparingly but they held great
symbolic importance.
Composer Aaron Copland col-
laborated with her for the score for
"Appalacian Spring" and Samuel Bar-
ber for "Cave of the Heart."
The Martha Graham Company is
internationally renowned, finding it's
headquarters in New York City, along
with her school, the Martha Graham
Center of Contemporary Dance. She
created new pieces here and offered
classes right up until the time of her
death in April of 1991.
"Martha was in almost every day
until she passed away," Sparling re-
called. "She either taught a class and
then sat in and watched rehearsals-
or, in the last years, she would just
come to watch the new works."
The Festival
"The festival is approaching the
Martha Graham legacy from so many
different angles. It's going to be an
educational as well as an artistic ex-
perience," states Sparling.
The festival itself is the grande
finale to over a week of symposiums
and community based performances.
For the first time ever the troupe is
allowing a local group of dancers to
perform on stage during their concert.
The troupe includes 33 women from

within the community of Ann Arbor
and some dance majors, who will
performing Graham's "Panorama" at
Friday and Saturday's family perfor-
mances. Steven Rooks with student
dancers from Community High
School for a piece that will be pre-
sented at the family performances as
well, while other members of the
Company will be having mini-travel-
ing tours around the area, where they
will be performing "Lamentation" a
solo piece of Graham's from 1930.
The festival itself
comes at a very4
important time
for the

art world and the Graham Company.
"The Company is at a crossroads-
they are seeking to broaden their au-
diences and keep the work relevant to
modern society," Sparling empha-
sized. "They're trying to avoid
Martha's works from becoming
dated."
Many of the supporters of the fes-
tival are looking to promote the arts to
a new generation and showcase great
artists to as wide an audience as pos-
sible, to make sure these works aren't
lost over time because of a lack of
funding for their performance. The
main goal of the festival, however, is
to celebrate the magic of Martha Gra-
ham - her style, her choreography,
the music, the art, and the legacy.

PRELIMINARY EVENTS
THURSDAY
Open rehearsal of "Panorama"
an informal look at the Graham
work featuring dancers from the Ann
Arbor community, who will also
work with the Graham Dance Com-
pany performances on the 28th and
29th. Free admission, Betty Pease
Studio in the Dance Building (be-
hind the CCRB). 7 p.m.
SUNDAY
Philips Educational Presentation:
"Martha Graham and the American
Composer"
presented by Richard Professor
of music History and Musicology.
Free admission, Rackham Audito-
rium. 2:30 p.m.
Michigan Chamber Players, "The
Music of Martha Graham"
Stanley Sussman, the Principal
Conductor of the Martha Graham
Dance Company along with the
Michgan Chamber Players present a
special concert of music commis-
sioned and inspired by Martha Gra-

ballets, including "Cave of the Heart"
and "Circe". Free admission, Mu-
seum of Art. September 24-Novem-
ber 13.
Graham Noguchi, Calder: Imag-
ery for Dance Theater
included in this exhibition are se-
lected pieces from Clytemnestra and
Judith by Isamu Noguchi along with
never before displayed sketches by
Alexander Calder for Martha Gra-
ham. Free admission, Power Center
Lobby/Green Room. October 18-30.
THURSDAY
Session I: Welcome and
Intrduction/Overview
Kenneth C. Fischer, Executive
Director of the U Musical Society
Peter Sparling, Chair of U De-
partment of Dance, Former Principal
Dancer of the Martha Graham Dance
Company
Barbara Groves, Executive Di-
rector of the Martha Graham Dance
Company
Ronald Protas, Artistic Director
of the Martha Graham Dance Com-

of "The Village Voice", Janet Soares
of Barnard College Department of
Dance.
Free admission, Rackham
Amphitheatre, 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Session III: American Masters
Screening: "Martha Graham: the
Dancer Revealed"
a videobiagraphy.
Free admission, Rackham West
Conference Room, 2 to 3 p.m.
Session IV: Commentary and
Discussion on the Videobiography
Free admission, Rackham West
Conference Room, 3 p.m.
Session V: "Graham and the
Future: hw School, the Company,
The Repertory"
Moderator: Diane Grey, Asso-
ciate Artistic Director, Martha Gra-
ham Dance Company
Panelists: Ronald Protas and
members of the Martha Graham
Dance Company.
Free admission, Rackham West
Conference Room, 4 p.m.

Genne of the U Department of Dance.
Free Admission, Rackham
Amphitheatre, '7-10 p.m.
FRIDAY
Session VII: "Reminiscences:
Graham Dancer and Collaborators
Remember"
Moderator: Francis Mason, Chair-
man Emeritus of the Martha Graham
Center of Contemporary Dance.
Free admission, Rackham Fourth
Floor Assembly Hall, 10 a.m.
The Martha Graham Film Festi-
val/ Tours of Exhibits
Exhibitions in the U Museum of
Art and the Pover Center Lobby/
Green Room.
Films to include: "A Dancer's
World," "Night Journey,"
"Appalacian Spring," and "Martha
Graham: Three Contemporary Clas-
sics."
Free admission, 1:30-5 p.m.
The Martha Graham Dance Com-
pany, Program I
The Ann .Arbor Symphony Or-

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