Voice of blood, rejection of stereotypes, sublimation of feelings
MOSCOW. The publishing house of the Garage Museum published an autobiography of the famous choreographer Martha Graham.
XX century thoroughly redesigned the life of mankind. Revolutionary transformations affected various spheres: politics, ideology, and art. Avant-garde overthrew traditions in painting, architecture, poetry, music, theater. Did not stay aside and choreography. The ballet refused stereotypes, dumped the pointe shoes, was liberated by the soul and body. Loi Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth Saint-Denis introduced the class brought up by the Puritan public to the joys of free movement, paving the way for modern choreography. Among the legislators of modern dance, which had the greatest impact on development and contributed to the flowering of the new style, was the great American dancer Martha Graham (Martha Graham).
The fate of Martha Graham could have developed quite differently. The attitude of the Presbyterian church, whose adherents were Graham’s parents, to social (outside worship) dances was negative. The inevitability of touching and erotic experiences, concentration on the physical, association with pagan practices were considered unacceptable, were equated almost with adultery. The paradox that opened Martha’s road to vocation was her father’s faith not only in Christ, but also in the healing power of the movement. George Graham, a practicing Alienist psychiatrist, assumed that the origins of nervous diseases lie in the physiological plane. And the best medicine can be muscle activity and adequate training of the musculoskeletal system. It was a saving loophole, a pass to a free life without dogmas and prejudices.
The gifted girl did not miss her chance and radically changed the idea of Americans about the dance, seeing in him before only lightweight fun with an erotic shade. The technique developed by her made it possible to convey in the dance the «landscape of the soul» of man, the world of the cultures of the past, to feel the voice of blood, to hear the steps of the ancestors behind her. She perceived the body as a sacred apparel, the spine as the tree of his life, the way of interaction with the world, the sublimation of feelings and lived tragedies. Elements of the Graham technique - relaxation of the body, compression of the pelvic and abdominal muscles, restoration of balance, work with breathing - a special language, a nonverbal way of maximum self-expression. Companions and ardent admirers of the great dancer and choreographer were equally uncontrollably talented and freedom-loving people. Lisa Minelli, Madonna, Woody Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nuriyev, Maya Plisetskaya and many others.
The oldest dance school in America, the Martha Graham Dance Company, founded in 1926 and raised many stars, has functioned successfully to this day. Graham continued to work as a choreographer until the last days of her life. At the age of 96, she died of pneumonia, having completed the last chapters of her autobiography Blood Memory.
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