Often called the Picasso, Stravinsky, or Frank Lloyd Wright of the dance world, Martha Graham revolutionized ballet stages across the globe. Using newly discovered archival sources, award-winning choreographer and dance historian Mark Franko reframes Graham’s most famous creations, those from the World War II era, by restoring their rich historical and personal context. Graham matured as an artist during the global crisis of fascism, the conflict of World War II, and the post-war period that ushered in the Cold War. Franko focuses on four of her most powerful works, American Document (1938), Appalachian Spring (1944), Night Journey (1948), and Voyage (1953), tracing their connections to Graham’s intense feelings of anti-fascism and her fascination with psychoanalysis. Moreover, Franko explores Graham’s intense personal and professional bond with dancer and choreographer Erick Hawkins. The author traces the impact of their constantly changing feelings about each other and about their work, and how Graham wove together strands of love, passion, politics, and myth to create a unique and iconically American school of choreography and dance.
About Mark Franko
Mark Franko is Professor of Dance at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Director of the Center for Visual and Performance Studies, and Editor of Dance Research Journal.
“Martha Graham In Love and War: The Life in the Work” by Mark Franko
The Washington Post Book Review – July 13, 2012 (Excerpt)
Choreographer Martha Graham is modern dance’s so-called high priestess. In the 1930s and ’40s, her unique brand of angular movement, dramatic narratives and unapologetically strong female characters redefined an art form.
Given her towering presence in the field, many authors have set out to chronicle her life and account for her influence. But in “Martha Graham in Love and War,” dance scholar Mark Franko aims to answer a narrower and less tired question: How did someone so innovative approach the creative process?
The four Graham works that Franko highlights are not necessarily the ones he considers most seminal, but rather the ones that changed her methodology. Through letters, notebooks, interviews, photos and other research, he retraces Graham’s journey as she assembled these works and uncovers the artistic and personal impulses that drove their conception. [Read the full article...]
THE LONDONDERRY AIR
Testament of an Ulster Gunman A Novel by Garrad Gawler
It all changed for Charles Cunningham, a Physics teacher at the local College of Technology in the County Derry town of Maddenstown, on a June afternoon in 1973 when a bomb exploded in his neighborhood. He answers an advertisement by the UDR, the Ulster Defence Regiment, but, in the time to come, he will experience the consequences of his decisions, and how his involvement complicates matters with family and friends, Protestants and Catholics alike, to an unexpected degree.
With “The Londonderry Air – Testament of an Ulster Gunman” Garrad Gawler describes in minute detail and with an astonishing level of authenticity not only the inner workings of the Ulster Defence Regiment, but also the activities of underground paramilitary groups of regular citizens who planned and carried out the assassination of suspected Republican terrorists in their neighborhood.
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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