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May 19, 1931 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1931-05-19

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

THE MICHIGAN DAIEY

STED ROLLD DR
SPRING
IS MARTHA GRAHAM
HERE
An Appreciation
The Vegetarian Society is goingAnpreito
to give a nice dinner soon at which, By Robert Henderson
it is stated, a talk about "Be Kind
To Animals By Not Eating Them" The first point that catches the
is to be featured. This, we under- attention as you meet Miss Gra-
stand, is to be followed closely by ham is her jet black hair - one
a "Be Kind To Everybody By Not could call it her "flaming" black
Eating Them" campaign which will hair -which hangs so straight and
ultimately result in the elimination severe to her shoulders where it
of War as an instrument of Na-
tional Policy. has been sharply cut off in a rigid
* * * line. There is her black, black hair
On second thought, however, and her black eyes to match which
this does not sound quite so alternately burn and grow dim as
good. It is fairly obvious that, the fervor within her glows and
havigeliminated War we must
eliminate Battteships with the dies. Her face is a thin white mask

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with red imploring lips. Martha1
Graham is the most sensitive artist
I have ever known. Everything
passes over her face; she needs
never utter a word to be under-
stood. Blanche Yurka, who is a
star in the production of the "Elec-
tra," is a Viking in her tempera-
ment. Things cannot hurt her;
with her fund of frankness and en-
thusiasm she brushes through every
difficulty.
With Martha Graham it is differ-
ent. A wrong movement on the
stage, a misplaced piece of action
actually physically hurts her. She
is so perfectly attuned to the sim-
ple and true economy of means
that anything artificial or theatri-
cal fairly slaps her in the face. A
director quickly learns not to hurt
her.
In rehearsing the "Electra" we
have used the method of working,
mornings and afternoons with Miss
Yurka and the company in the re-
hearsal hall; and at night we take
the entire production to Miss Gra-
ham's studio, where she corrects
and amends all of the stage "bus-
iness" that has been worked out
during the day. As far as I know,
this is the first time in an Ameri-
can production where a distin-
guished dancer has been used as
1 an actual "force" in the theatre;
not merely as an inserted ballet-
master,ebut literally as a codirec-
tor. The "Electra" is doubly for-
tunate in having such direction
from so brilliant and simple an
artist as Miss Graham. In many
ways, the real inspiration of the
production was the engagement of
Martha Graham not only to dance
but to direct the action of all the
actors as well. The utter simplicity,
the almost "peasant" flavor of the
performance which she has given
it is obviously the glowing feature
of the entire production.
In the "Electra" Miss Graham
does four dances in addition to an
important scene at the very end of
the play. It is a mistake to call
them dances, in the ordinary sense
of the word, for they fade in and
out of the regular course of the
action that they are definitely an
integral part of it. Rather these
"dances" serve to intensify and
heighten each important climax;
first at the beginning of the play
where the boy Orestes returns to
avenge his father's murder, then
just before the entrance of the
cruel Queenmother, next the dance
of lamentation when Electra thinks
that Orestes has been killed, and
finally where the revenge is ac-
complished at last.
To describe these dances is near-
ly impossible if you have'not seen
Martha Graham dance before.
Some have compared her to Mary
Wigman, the German dancer who
has just scored such a sensational
success in this country. At best the
comparison is superficial, for Miss
Graham has never been to Ger-
many and her work is so uniquely
her own. Critics speak of her "pas-
sionate asceticism," of her "divine
simplicity," and all are unanimous
in their praise of her extraordinary
economy and technical resourceful-
ness.
Certain metropolitan papers have
referred to her "stylized" dances.
Miss Graham laughs when you
mention the phrase to her,nfor she
has no idea what it means. Her
art is so much a part of her and'
so vividly springs from her own
convictions of truth and beauty
that she could express herself in
no other way. Today she is the
critic's darling; they are agog over

what they consider a "discovery."
Their columns in the new York
papers resound with her praise aft-
er each of her recitals. Again Miss
Graham smiles. "I was just the
same four years ago," she says,
"when they hurled abuse at me.
Perhaps they are just catching up
to our ideas."
Today Martha Graham stands as
the foremost woman dancer in
America. To those of us who work
with her, like every true artist,

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B

O N D S TO

F I T

T H E I N V E

S T O R

An Industry's Program
That Made Front-Page News

Business men, industrialists and engi.
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the McGraw-Hill Publications. More
than 3,000,000 use McGraw-Hill books
and magazines in their business.
The Business Week Radio Retailing
System Electronics

Cloth rolling off the looms : , thousands of yards; ; ; mil-
lions of yards ... pouring into an already glutted market.
Women and children working through the long night hours
to produce more goods where less was needed.
From competitive chaos in the textile industry order and
straight thinking have suddenly emerged. Through The
Cotton-Textile Institute, an agency of the industry's own
creation, the end of night work for women and minors has
been decreed.
This single step projects on the horizon the following bene.
fits: (1) Full time for the day worker instead of part time for
him and the night worker; (2) more orderly production;
(3) better working conditions; (4) more profitable opera-
tion; (5) better returns for mill and worker.
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Aviation

Product Engineering

Factory and Industrial Engineering and
Management Mining Journal
Power Engineering and
Industrial Engineering Mining World
Zoal Age Electric Railway Journal
Textile World Bus Transportation
Food Industries American Machinist
Electrical World Engineering News-
Electrical Merchandising Record
Electrical West Construction Methods

II

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